Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Japan aims to quadruple the overseas market for anime and games

Pop culture powerhouse Japan wants to quadruple its overseas market for video games, manga and anime to $130 billion in about a decade, the government said.

Japan, the birthplace of comics and cartoons like “Dragon Ball” and game franchises from “Super Mario” to “Final Fantasy,” sees the creative industry as a growth engine on par with steel and semiconductors.

In its revised “Cool Japan” strategy, released on Tuesday, the government said it aims to increase exports of these cultural goods to ¥20 trillion (nearly $130 billion) by 2033.

In 2022, Japan’s gaming, anime and manga sectors raked in ¥4.7 trillion ($30 billion) from abroad — almost equivalent to microchip exports of ¥5.7 trillion, government data show.

“In recent years, content such as anime and manga have played an extremely important role in attracting an increasingly large young audience abroad, acting as their ‘gateway’ to Japan,” the strategy document said.

A pandemic-fueled streaming boom has helped raise the global profile of anime, including franchises like “Demon Slayer,” which have enjoyed global box office success.

The fast-growing phenomenon of ‘Vtubers’ – virtually animated YouTubers – playing video games is also helping to increase Japan’s international soft power, the strategy said.

By combining the growth of these sectors with related industries including fashion, cosmetics and inbound tourism, Japan is targeting an economic benefit of ¥50 trillion by 2033.

The strategy also includes plans to intensify a crackdown on piracy websites that illegally distribute anime and manga for free in languages ​​such as English and Vietnamese.

“Strengthening measures against piracy websites is essential for expanding the global market,” the report said, warning that some of their advertising revenue could go to criminal syndicates.

“Rapid intergovernmental action is needed” to tackle this “piracy crisis,” the report said.



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