Government of Japan wants to get involved in anime

Government of Japan wants to get involved in anime

The Japanese government has revealed a draft of the new "Cool Japan Strategy" that will be updated for the first time in five years. This new strategy seeks to position anime and video games as fundamental industries and strengthen their promotion abroad. Despite previous failures in government efforts, there is uncertainty about whether this new strategy will achieve successful results.

Government of Japan wants to get involved in anime

The final decision will be made soon at the government's Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters. The draft highlights the global expansion of video streaming services and the rise in popularity of Japanese anime, as well as the increase in tourists following the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing that "the time has come to relaunch Cool Japan."

With the decline of the national population in mind, the draft underscores the importance of international expansion of content such as anime and video games, as well as agricultural, forestry, fisheries, and food products, and the rise of international tourism as crucial sources of foreign exchange earnings.

The content industry is a special priority. In 2022, the scale of the international expansion of this industry reached 4.7 trillion yen, comparable to sectors such as steel (5.1 trillion yen) and semiconductors (5.7 trillion yen). The new plan aims to quadruple this figure by 2033, reaching 20 trillion yen.

To achieve these goals, measures such as strengthening the fight against piracy, supporting young creators and improving research and analysis of local needs in foreign markets will be implemented.

Why did "Cool Japan" fail the first time it was implemented?

The initial initiative of Cool Japan was proposed by the Japanese government in 2010, under the administration of then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The goal was to promote Japanese culture abroad, including anime, manga, video games, fashion, and gastronomy, with the intention of improving the country's image and stimulating the economy by exporting its cultural products.

Reasons for Cool Japan's initial failure:

  • Lack of Coordination and Strategy: One of the main problems was the lack of a coherent and coordinated strategy. There were scattered and poorly organized efforts among the different government agencies and private companies involved.
  • Insufficient Knowledge of Foreign Markets: The initiative failed to adequately understand consumer preferences and demands in foreign markets. There was no detailed enough market research to tailor products and marketing strategies to local tastes.
  • Bureaucracy and Rigidity: The excessive bureaucracy and lack of flexibility of the government made it difficult to implement effective and rapid measures. Slow decisions and an inability to adapt quickly to changes in the global market negatively affected the initiative.
  • Lack of Support for Local Creators: Although the initiative aimed to promote Japanese culture, not enough support was provided to local creators to enable them to compete internationally. This included a lack of funding, training and resources for young talent.
  • Inefficient Investment: The funds earmarked for the initiative were not always used efficiently. There were projects that did not generate the expected impact, and some funds went to activities that did not contribute significantly to Cool Japan's goals.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun