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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: Political tensions between Japan and China are still simmering, which creates a peculiar backdrop for Tokyo fashion week. The Japan runway shows, which start up this weekend and run through next week, have courted Chinese buyers and journalists for seasons.
The territorial dispute — each country is laying claim to a small chain of islands — has already caused a few headaches for Japan Fashion Week organizers. A group of representatives from trade show organizer and wholesale merchandise concern Shanghaimart is not attending the shows this season because it could not secure the proper credentials from the Chinese government, according to a Japan Fashion Week spokeswoman. A Shanghaimart spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the situation and could not provide further details.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese music group Dream Girls, which was slated to perform at the Et Momonakia show, has also axed a trip to Tokyo, according to the JFW spokeswoman. A rep for the band declined to comment.
Still, it seems as through there will be some Chinese representation at the event. Hangzhou, China-based brand JNBY is scheduled to show Tuesday and the company's design team are planning to come to Tokyo.
The Japan fashion spokeswoman said she was not aware of other canceled trips on the part of buyers and journalists from China. Event organizers typically release attendance figures — including breakdown by country — a day or two after the shows wrap.