Rakuten Returns to Japan Expo to Offer Authentic Experiences of Japanese Technology and Culture

  • Downloaders of the Rakuten Pay app will receive an exclusive €5 reward redeemable at more than 25 exhibitor booths.
  • Rakuten Kobo, in partnership with Japan Expo, Kana, and Mangas.io, will announce the winner of the inaugural Mangaka Challenge, a competition to identify top new manga talent.

Paris, June 8, 2023 –  Rakuten, a Tokyo-based global leader in internet services empowering individuals, communities, businesses and society, will have a major presence for the second consecutive year at Japan Expo, Paris’s annual celebration of Japanese popular culture. Over the four-day event, Rakuten will showcase its global portfolio of more than 70 e-commerce, fintech, digital content, and communications services founded on the company’s Japanese heritage and profound connection with its audience.

“Japan Expo is an opportunity to be fully immersed in Japan’s rich and vibrant culture”, commented Marc Safarti, responsible for the Japan Expo partnership at Rakuten. “We are delighted to showcase our technology and services to provide attendees with authentic and enriching experiences of Japanese culture.”

Japan Expo attendees will encounter Rakuten’s services and technology throughout their visit, highlighted by the Rakuten Pay cashless payment app and the announcement of the winner of the inaugural Mangaka Challenge.

Upon downloading Rakuten Pay, visitors receive 500 welcome points valued at €5 redeemable at more than 25 exhibitor booths. Rakuten Pay’s friendly, convenient, and secure service enables users to easily make payments with their smartphone by opening an account and then connecting a credit card or Rakuten bank account.

According to Marc Safarti, responsible for the Japan Expo partnership at Rakuten, “Japan’s #1 QR Payment Platform is proud to partner once again with Japan Expo in 2023. As a partner, we have built a strong and powerful plan with Japan Expo organization, to promote the offer to all the visitors, not only during the expo but also weeks before”.

Rakuten Pay is a payment service in Japan that allows users to make easy payments via a smartphone app by registering a credit card or Rakuten bank account with their Rakuten Pay account. Supported by over 5 million locations across Japan, the app has established its position as one of Japan’s top mobile payment products and recently has arrived in France to offer a convenient purchase experience through a simple, state-of-the-art solution for cashless payments.

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To showcase the ease of use of R Pay, Rakuten has partnered with some of the most popular French Twitch Streamers, who will take their followers through a live shopping experience during the course of Japan Expo, allowing Japan lovers and their followers’ communities to experience a virtual tour of the event with their favorite influencer.

Among them:

  • Femimars: a genuine aficionado of Japanese animation and video games, channels his unwavering passion into his streaming sessions. The charismatic General Fémi-Mars wholeheartedly shares his taste and love for his favorite content with a devoted community of over 141K followers.
  • Koumo: the epitome of relaxation and good vibes, charms his more than 212k followers with his in-depth knowledge of Japanese pop culture and captivating reaction videos. Wherever he streams, a delightful ambiance is sure to follow.
  • Shini: is an enthusiastic streamer who immerses himself in the world of video games, football, and Japanese animation. He actively engages with his community of over 72K followers, sparking vibrant discussions about their shared passions while taking breaks from intense gaming sessions of Valorant or Pokémon.
  • Shynouh: is a talented streamer, specializing in the thrilling realm of League of Legends and boasting a vast gaming expertise. As a Vitality e-sports team ambassador, she strives to spread joy and positivity among her devoted community of over 61K followers.

In partnership with Japan Expo, Kana, and Mangas.io, Rakuten’s global e-reading platform Rakuten Kobo will announce the winner of the inaugural Mangaka Challenge, a competition to discover fresh, new manga talent, at 14:15h on July 16 on the prestigious Kuri stage. The Challenge has attracted entries from aspiring manga authors of various backgrounds and skill levels.

The reveal of the Mangaka Challenge winner is sure to captivate manga enthusiasts around the world.  The winner receives a publishing contract with Kana editions, a leading French publisher of manga, along with a €15,000 cash prize to support their artistic journey. Furthermore, their work will reach a global audience of manga enthusiasts on the Rakuten Kobo and Mangas.io platforms.

At Japan Expo, Rakuten’s booth located in C134 will offer visitors an immersive experience of Japanese culture, embodying the spirit of “omotenashi” to provide warm hospitality. Attendees of the booth will have a remarkable opportunity to deeply engage with Rakuten’s culture and make the most of its diverse range of services. Additionally, they will also have the thrilling chance to participate in Rakuten´s Fukubiki raffle, offering exciting prizes including Kobo and Viki vouchers, Rakuten Pandas, and an array of delightful goodies.

Japan Expo takes place July 13 – 16 at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre. The renowned annual event attracts thousands of enthusiasts of Japan-related food, art, and culture. It is widely considered to place to be the pre-eminent event for fans of Japan and its culture, from manga to martial arts, from video games to folk culture, from J-music to traditional music.


About Rakuten

Rakuten Group, Inc. is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businessesand society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to approximately 1.6 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 31,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.



Japan Expo is a cultural and popular celebration. Every year, Japan Expo has the honor to welcome prestigious artists who come to meet the french audience. As  the real pillars of the festival’s program, famous names of animation, video games and manga come to take part in conferences, meetings or signing sessions to exchange about Japanese culture.

Japan Expo aspires to celebrate with the public and the professionals exceptional careers but also to put forward new talents in full development.

Since 2000, Japan Expo has been organizing the coming of Japanese artists. Each year, the festival team has renewed this commitment to the public: welcoming iconic figures and looking for new talents highlighted through conferences, signing sessions, masterclasses or even live-drawing.

Japan Expo is the 1st European festival dedicated to Japanese entertainment and culture and the 3rd exhibition in France behind Le Mondial de l’automobile and Le Salon de l’Agriculture. It gathered more than 250.000 visitors in 2022.


Press Contacts:

Hugo Esquenet, Agence Warning Up
Tel: h.esquenet@warningup.com

Sébastien Martin, Agence Warning Up
Tel: s.martin@warningup.com

Alexandre Haghdoust, Agence Warning Up
Tel:, a.haghdoust@warningup.com

Antía Blanco, Corporate Communications Senior Manager, Rakuten EMEA
Tel: +34 608389402,  antia.blanco@rakuten.com