Fund plans Southeast Asia stores to pitch Japan

JIJI

A public-private fund is planning to open stores in major Southeast Asian cities to sell products related to Japanese culture.

The plan involves renting parts of large-scale commercial facilities or buying entire buildings, Nobuyuki Ota, chief executive officer of Cool Japan Fund Inc., said.

The fund supports overseas promotion of Japanese culture such as anime and fashion.

The stores will sell products, including Japanese-style food, specialty goods from various parts of Japan, and clothing items for young people.

The fund wants to create vibrant food sections in the stores similar to the basement food floors found in Japanese department stores.

Officials are planning to decide where to set up the stores by March and to open the first within two years.

The fund wants to solicit investment from private companies in Japan and firms in Southeast Asia. It is considering investing about ¥10 billion.

Cooperation will be sought from regional banks to find products to sell in the stores.

“By working with regional banks, we want to discover products that can be marketed from prefectures to the world,” Ota said.