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Arts The Japan Times 2009 January

Anime conventions still set trends

by Robert Michael Poole

More than 40,000 people are expected to gather in Los Angeles between July 2 and July 5 for the largest anime, manga and games convention in North America, Anime EXPO. Despite reports suggesting Japan’s most ubiquitous cultural export might have peaked, AX is in it’s 18th year and is expecting another record turnout. According to estimates from the Japan External Trade Organization, the American market for Japanese anime-related products peaked in 2003 at $4.8 billion and has fallen ever since, to just $2.8 billion in 2007.