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Ministry Unveils Strategy to Boost 'Cool Japan'
Source: yomiuri.co.jp
Source Date: Monday, April 05, 2010
Country: Japan
Created: Apr 12, 2010

The government has drawn up a list of strategies aimed at boosting Japan's pop culture industry, thereby making Japan and its contemporary culture more competitive internationally.

Japan's pop culture--namely its anime, games, food and fashion--is believed to have great potential for improving Japan's image and making its products more competitive in Asia, Europe and North America, where it is popular and being promoted under the name "Cool Japan."

The draft of strategies was presented to a special committee of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry's Industrial Structure Council on Monday and is expected to be one pillar of the government's new growth strategy.

The strategy urges the Japan External Trade Organization and private consulting firms to cooperate with small and midsize companies that have difficulty in operating overseas by themselves.

The strategy calls for setting up a system in which such organizations and firms consistently help small and midsize companies in doing everything from product development to finalizing sales contracts overseas.

The draft includes the establishment of a public-private investment fund to support the content industry in its foreign endeavors, thereby improving the culture industry's sales. It also includes the hosting of cultural events in major Asian cities to promote Japanese fashion and lifestyle.

The draft also urges a governmental review of the criteria for issuing work visas under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, in an attempt to lure more creators to the country.

Total sales in related industries--including content and fashion--for 2004 were about 45 trillion yen, employing 2.15 million people.

Even so, exports only account for 2 percent of total sales in the content industry, far below the 18 percent seen by the United States.
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