New entity in works to promote Cool Japan themes for export


The government plans to establish a public-private entity this fall with the aim of promoting exports of “anime,” fashion and other goods under its Cool Japan initiative, informed sources have said.

With the Cool Japan promotion being one of its key policy measures, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to nurture related businesses and have them grow into major export industries.

In its fiscal 2013 draft budget, the government has set aside ¥50 billion in capital for the new entity.

To run it, the institution will pull in experts in content industries and overseas marketing, the sources said. When selecting target projects for support, it will take into account profitability and potential ripple effects, the sources said.

The public-private body will mainly promote the export of various goods to major cities in emerging parts of Asia, capitalizing on the growing demand there, the sources said.

For example, it may support projects to set up shopping malls that will feature stores selling Japanese items, the sources said.

In emerging economies, interest in foreign culture among consumers tends to grow as their living standards improve, said an official from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is in charge of promoting the Cool Japan campaign. “We hope to foster the brand power of Japan,” the official said.

  • Far East

    Like in any business, the best to talk about it are the customers and the employees, so following this image, I think the Japanese Government should leverage the great number of Japan-loving foreigners living here and the everyday Japanese. They are the ones who make this nation such a great place to live!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.takada Jeff Takada

    Setting up stalls in shopping malls? Exporting various goods? Is this a farce? All of this is done already by the private sector. To truly promote “Cool Japan,” the government needs to back actual institutions which standardize their cultural and intellectual exports, not merchandise. Otherwise we’ll just be seeing more Hello Kitty in the discount bin and more pseudo-anime dreck on the Boob Tube.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Chiedo/560375763 Jeffrey Chiedo

    Why not support talent and quality. These things fizzle after about a week… Why have the arts crashed along with the economy?

  • Glen Douglas Brügge

    I really cannot see how the expect to rely on exporting “anime” and Lolita fashions as a cornerstone for promoting interest and investment in Japan’s “Soft Culture.” It is slowly fizzling out as we speak. Pop culture is just that, temporary. It is not a very enduring, nor endearing aspect of Japanese culture. What they should be doing is focusing on tourism and traditional aspects of the culture (arts, crafts) and promoting those as an integrated package (I know the government does, but it could pump more money into that aspect of “Cool”). Granted, anime smacks less of “cultural imperialism” when trying to win over one’s Asian neighbors. But, for the rest of the world, “Cool Japan” needs to focus on what endures, and I would hazard to say, more tourists would rather see an old village in the Snow Country and enjoy a dip in an onsen rather than spending a day buying plastic junk in Akihabara.