It has been 10 years or so since the government launched its Cool Japan marketing strategy abroad and, in spite of some criticism, there are certainly a few key elements that can be held up as examples of the program’s success.
The spread of anime and Japan’s food culture worldwide has come a long way since Studio Ghibli’s award-winning animated feature “Spirited Away” broke records at the box office in 2001 and Japanese cuisine was predominantly associated with the California roll. What’s more, Japanese crafts, sake and manga are now relatively easy to find in locations around the world.
A dedicated government initiative has played a role in the promotion of these exported cultural trends over the past decade. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) launched its Creative Industries Promotion Office in June 2010, formalizing and publishing objectives for a strategy it officially dubbed “Cool Japan” by the end of 2011.