The organisers of the Tokyo Anime Fair are reporting they will likely have to cancel the event after the anime industry pulled out in disgust at the Tokyo government’s hostility to them.
After a coalition of 10 publishers vowed to boycott the event, the organisers (the unfortunately named “Association of Japanese Animations”) suddenly reopened their attendee recruiting efforts, but now seem to have realised the futility of this:
“It has become essentially impossible to hold the event.
The targets and criteria of the new restrictions are vague and ambiguous, and are a major issue with respect to the spirit of our constitutionally guaranteed free speech.
We can’t avoid the withdrawal of so many participants. To maintain the quality we have previously delivered would be exceedingly difficult.”
Meanwhile governor Ishihara has repeatedly said he does not care if they refuse to attend and that he expects the event to be fine without them – apparently he wishes to highlight the vitality of the Japanese animation industry with only Disney in attendance, quite the irony for a man who has made a career out of hating foreigners.
Even Japan’s prime minister has stated he hopes the event can go ahead – which now seems impossible without the ban being repealed.