‘Cool Japan’ struts the runways at Fashion Week in Tokyo

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By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) – Washi paper was paired with silk and fabrics layered in an echo of traditional kimonos at Japan Fashion Week, the twice-yearly celebration of an industry that plays a key role in the nation’s “Cool Japan” campaign. Underwritten by a $500-million government bankroll, the campaign – whose Cool Japan fund kicks off in November – aims to help Japanese firms promote their culture. It has been seized upon by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a way of restoring the halo of cool that once graced the nation that gave the world technological marvels such as the “Walkman. …