Intellectual property is generating soaring revenue for Japan, jumping by 74 percent over the past five years to a record in 2017, according to the latest government data.

Developing and protecting it is a key element of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's long-term growth strategy, which calls for greater investment in innovation to create wealth as the nation's workforce ages and shrinks.

Intellectual property, which applies to intangible assets including brands, copyright, patents and industrial designs, covers everything from cultural icons like Super Mario and Hello Kitty to robotics advances by Fanuc Corp.