Cool Japan Fund launches to help spread products overseas

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Staff Writer

Aiming to enhance the strength of Japan’s brand overseas, Cool Japan Fund, an entity run by the government and the private sector to promote Japanese culture, products and services, launched operations Monday.

“We’d like to somehow help those of you who want to promote Japan’s great design, cool content, safe and delicious food and Japanese services with generous hospitality,” Cool Japan Fund CEO Nobuyuki Ota said during the launch ceremony in Tokyo’s Roppongi district.

Cool Japan Fund was established to promote Japanese products and content that have achieved a great deal of popularity overseas but have not made much money, often because of the lack of a good business model. Lack of funding and bases overseas have contributed to this problem.

To overcome such problems, the government has provided ¥30 billion to the fund, while 15 private firms chipped in a total of ¥7.5 billion. They include ANA Holdings Inc., Dentsu Inc., Dai Nippon Printing Co. and Mizuho Bank.

Among the projects planned by Cool Japan Fund so far include running Japan-based shopping centers in major cities around the world so local people can become familiar with Japanese products.

It also plans to seek out new products across Japan that have yet to become known domestically but have the potential to take off overseas.

“We hope to have many cases where we find undiscovered great things in regional areas and spread them overseas,” said Ota, a former president and CEO of Issei Miyake Inc.

The fund will also support Japanese anime content to be broadcast more widely overseas.

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