Chinese consumers get ‘Cool Japan’ exposure


In an effort to expand Japan’s share of the growing Chinese market, the government is organizing a promotional event in Beijing this week to show off services that exemplify the “Cool Japan” image.

“This exhibition shows good features of Japan in what can be described as friendliness, cleanness and ‘omotenashi,’ or hospitality, as part of Cool Japan,” Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa, a senior vice minister of economy, said at a trade fair that got under way Monday for a five-day run.

“I would like . . . the people in China, to know and experience Japanese services,” Yanagisawa told reporters.

Nineteen Japanese companies and organizations in fields such as tourism, health, transport, education and entertainment have exhibits in the Japan Pavilion at the Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services.

They include All Nippon Airways Co., the Japan Association of Music Enterprises, Nippon Express Co., the Kansai Economic Federation, an Osaka-based business lobby, and Ukai Co., which operates 11 high-end restaurants in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.

The Japan Pavilion measures about 330 sq. meters, the biggest of all the participating countries. Specials promotional events are scheduled for “Japan Day” on Wednesday.

At the opening ceremony, Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to increase the opening of the country’s service sector, saying China would actively expand imports to bring advanced technology and management experience from abroad.

“Fostering growth in the service sector is the main direction for China’s economic transformation and restructuring, as well as an internal call to improve people’s living standards,” Wen was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

China’s service trade has been surging in recent years, with volume totaling $419.1 billion in 2011, up from $66 billion in 2000, according to Xinhua. China ranks fourth in the world in terms of service trade volume.

Commerce Minister Chen Deming said China is expected to become the world’s largest consumer market in 2015.