International otaku culture network set to launch

The International Otaku Expo Association was set to be launched Friday as a global network of expositions and events across the world themed on otaku culture to help fans, creators, organisations and businesses to enrich their friendships and co-operate with each other.

Takamasa Sakurai, who writes the "Looking East" column for The Japan News, will assume the post of executive office director.

According to the association's office, more than 1,000 events and expos related to otaku culture are held around the world with a total of more than 20 million participants each year. The IOEA is intended to link these events and expos.

The founders include Ani-Com & Games Hong Kong, Anime Friends in Brazil, Comic Market in Japan, Otakon in the United States and Romics in Italy.

The inauguration event was to be held ahead of Comiket Special 6 on March 28-29 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.

Comiket Special 6, themed "Otaku Summit 2015," will include an Otaku Expo covering dozens of manga and anime organisations from at least 18 countries and territories, the first of its kind in the world.