Eight years have passed since American journalist Douglas McGray first coined the phrase, but now the Japanese government is getting behind "Cool Japan" in a big way. A new Creative Industries Promotion Office was established in June within the Manufacturing Industries Bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to coordinate the promotion of "cultural industries" by various arms of government such as the Agency for Cultural Affairs, METI, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the METI press release, "the government's 'New Growth Strategy' and 'Industrial Vision 2010' expect that Japan's cultural industries, such as design, animation, fashion and movies, will become a strategic sector that drives the nation's future economic growth."
Such a policy has paid off for South Korea, which has raised its national image through investing heavily in the Pusan International Film Festival, the Gwangju Biennale, their accompanying infrastructure and the fostering of creative talent. In 2007, China also adopted a national policy of promoting its soft power internationally.