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Prime Minister Kishida To Revive ‘Cool Japan’ With Aim To Make Anime A Core Industry

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Japan is all set to revive its signature Cool Japan strategy with a renewed focus on promoting anime worldwide.

The draft of the new strategy, expected to be finalized in June at the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters headed by Prime Minister Kishida, outlines a policy to promote overseas expansion of Cool Japan related fields such as anime and games, positioning them as core industries of the country.

The revamping process comes after the overseas expansion of Japan’s content industry, including anime and other forms of entertainment, which reached a record high of 4.7 trillion yen in 2022, matching the size of the steel industry (5.1 trillion yen).

The Cool Japan Program which started in 2013, initially aimed to promote various aspects of Japanese culture overseas. By the end of Fiscal Year 2021, however, the Cool Japan Fund had amassed a debt of 30.9 billion yen (~ USD 228.9 million), which made the The Ministry of Finance consider abolishing it.

As a possible means to overcome the previous issues, the new draft outlines a policy to “provide flexible and continuous support over multiple years” for the overseas expansion of young creators and artists.

Meaning, Cool Japan initiative will also focus on expanding the businesses, rather than just investing in it.

Additionally, efforts will also be made to digitize Japanese cultural and academic materials, including anime and manga, in order to create new value. This will make these materials more accessible to a wider audience.

The Japanese government has pumped in over 106.6 billion yen (~ USD 789.6 million) in the Cool Japan Fund as of 2022.

Cool Japan is a program supported by the Japanese government and various companies to promote Japan to the world, based on the idea that Japan’s international strength stems from anime, manga and other fields of Japanese culture.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun

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