Miss International

Miss International is a Tokyo-based international beauty pageant organized by The International Culture Association. The pageant was first held in 1960 with the winner being Stella Araneta from Columbia. Miss International is the fourth largest pageant in the world in terms of having crowned national winners to participate in the international contest. The current Miss International is Kevin Lilliana of Indonesia who was crowned on 14 November 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

 

The pageant was created in Long Beach, California, USA in 1960 after the departure of the Miss Universe pageant to Miami Beach. Hosted in Long Beach until 1967, the pageant moved to Japan from 1968–1970, being hosted each year in the same city as the Expo '70. For 1971, it was held in Long Beach again, but since that time it has been held annually in Japan until 2003. Since 2004, it is held in China or Japan. As the 1966 Miss International was cancelled, the winner of 1965, Ingrid Finger's, reign was the longest among titleholders totaling 624 days two years and 10 months.

 

In 2013, for the first time in history, the winner of Miss International 2012 Ikumi Yoshimatsu of Japan did not crown her successor; instead Miss International 2008 Alejandra Andreu took over in passing on the crown to Bea Santiago of the Philippines as reported by the pageant forum Missosology.Yoshimatsu was being stalked and threatened by an influential talent agency executive, Genichi Taniguchi, and the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) had barred Yoshimatsu from attending the pageant to avoid the scandal. Instead of giving in to the threats of Taniguchi, Japanese actress, social activist and beauty queen fought back, and as a result, she started the STALKER ZERO campaign.

 

The STALKER ZERO campaign was started to introduce stricter laws to protect victims of stalking and intimidation in Japan, after becoming the first high-profile woman to go public with her own personal experience in an international press conference. Yoshimitsu's campaign broke all previous records for an online petition on Change.org (Japan) and she has become the voice of many Japanese women exposing and changing the culture of silence toward crimes against women.This is also the first time when a past winner crowned two winners. Andreu passed the crown in 2009 where she crowned Anagabriela Espinoza of Mexico and in 2013 to Yoshimatsu.

The pageant is also called "Miss International Beauty". Contestants are expected to serve as "Ambassadors of Peace and Beauty", demonstrating tenderness, benevolence, friendship, beauty, intelligence, ability to take action, and, most importantly, a great international sensibility. The ultimate goal of the Miss International beauty pageant is to promote world peace, goodwill, and understanding.