East Asia

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 349–363 | Cite as

Japan’s Quest for “Soft Power”: Attraction and Limitation

  • Peng Er LamEmail author


Japan is seeking to project its “soft power” through the allure of manga and anime in its public diplomacy. The production, diffusion and global consumption of manga and anime are driven by market forces and consumer tastes and not by the Japanese state. However, the latter is seeking to harness this popular culture to burnish Tokyo’s international image. Despite the attractiveness of Japanese pop culture and other more traditional forms of public diplomacy, Tokyo’s pursuit of “soft power” and a good international image is undermined by its failure to overcome its burden of history.


Anime Cultural diplomacy Manga Public diplomacy Soft power 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.East Asian Institute, NUSSingaporeSingapore

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