Malaysia will be the main attraction in the upcoming Tokyo International Book Fair.
Malaysia will be the theme country for the upcoming Tokyo International Book Fair (TIBF) 2014, marking the first time an Asean country has been selected for the honour.
Reputed to be Asia’s leading publishing trade show, the TIBF will take place from July 2 to 5 next year.
According to TIBF organisers Reed Exhibitions Japan’s international director Kaoru Iwata, Malaysia was selected as the theme country based on its impressive participation in the fair for three years in a row.
He went on the explain that Malaysia caught their attention after its second showing in TIBF 2012, during which time its representatives managed to ink 15 trade deals with various Japanese parties adding up to more than half a million ringgit. Such an achievement, he added, required hard work and strategic planning.
Although the TIBF has been running for over 20 years, its organisers only started awarding the theme country status in 1998, beginning with France. The title is not given every year, but rather, on a discretionary basis depending on certain criteria. Other countries to have received the honour are Holland (2000), Italy (2001), Germany (2005), Egypt (2009), Saudi Arabia (2010), Spain (2011) and Korea (2013).
Malaysia National Institute of Translation (ITBM) managing director Mohd Khair Ngadiron said being made theme country at the TIBF offered many valuable opportunities for Malaysia.
As theme country, he explained, Malaysia will receive wide media coverage by the Japanese and international media, which will aid in publicity efforts for the local publishing scene; furthermore, as part of the TIBF 2014 package, Malaysia will also be promoted by the organisers at various book fairs around the world.
“It also allows us to introduce local literature in a wider context to the international book industry, while simultaneously highlighting our leading writers as our society’s intellectual symbols. Besides that, we intend to use this opportunity to promote Malaysia, in line with 2014 being Visit Malaysia Year,” he said.
Mohd Khair added that discussions were currently ongoing between ITBM and Tourism Malaysia on joint efforts that can be made to capitalise on Malaysia’s status as TIBF’s theme country.