Cool Japan Fund launches to help spread products overseas

by Kazuaki Nagata

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.

  • Brenda Huff

    Our mall here has many open spots. There are a lot of people here who love manga, anime, and all kinds of other Japanese things. It would be wonderful to have a Japanese shop close by that I could go to, look at stuff, and buy stuff that I would normally have to buy online and have shipped from Japan. Please bring a store here to St. Joseph, Missouri, USA!! And please have at least a couple Japanese people to work there.