It has emerged that Tokyo governor, manga ban proponent and prominent rape novelist Shintaro Ishihara has sent letters to ten of the publishers now boycotting the Tokyo International Anime Fair, which he chairs, begging them to relent and return to the fold.
The revelation came to light when a DPJ legislator quizzed the governor on what he was doing about the ongoing implosion of TAF; in his response, Ishihara revealed that his administration had sent the publishers grovelling letters claiming the Tokyo government “wants to go forward hand in hand with your companies in order to make the event a success.”
The news prompted widespread derision – previously, on hearing that they planned to cancel their participation Ishihara commented (shown above) that “Who cares if they come or not, they’ll be back next year. For all I care they can stay away forever.”
With their own ACE event well in hand in neighbouring Chiba, and all companies of any quality having abandoned TAF, it seems unlikely the publishers (and certainly not the mangaka) will be in any mood to back down – least of all with Ishihara forced into a humiliating retreat.