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NEWS: Cool Japan Fund Allocates 14 Billion Yen for Overseas Projects


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Nooble5



Joined: 26 Aug 2013
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:01 pm Reply with quote
Looks like some of the 14 Billion Yen will be coming to the United States towards Tokyo Otaku Mode.

"The company also plans to use the funds to expand its e-commerce market, hire new engineers, improve mobile support, establish more overseas distribution centers, and implement new marketing campaigns."

I'm quite excited because I'd like to see more merchandise and commerce that aren't as accessible in the US compared to Japan. Hopefully this funding becomes visible to the consumers.

Though, "investing in large refrigerating and freezing facilities in Vietnam to promote Japanese food sales."

I wish that could happen in the US. Would love some authentic Japanese food/products xD
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Chipp12



Joined: 30 Mar 2012
Posts: 281
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:54 pm Reply with quote
I wonder when they're planning to continue working on Beatless translation. The chapters were coming slower and slower each and now it's completely stopped.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13720
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:46 pm Reply with quote
Many Japanese think it's a waste of taxpayer money, rather leave to private enterprises. Becoming more hot issue.
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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 608
Location: Minneapolis, MN
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Nooble5 wrote:
"investing in large refrigerating and freezing facilities in Vietnam to promote Japanese food sales."

I wish that could happen in the US. Would love some authentic Japanese food/products xD

...because the USA is lacking in refrigeration for foodstuffs? I live in a reasonably-large city, but the Asian population is mostly southeast-Asian. And I've found everything Japanese I want* in the various Asian groceries around here.

If you live in small-town midwest USA, the local Red Owl isn't going to stock kombu no matter how many distribution centers there are on the west coast.

enurtsol wrote:
Many Japanese think it's a waste of taxpayer money, rather leave to private enterprises. Becoming more hot issue.

Many Japanese are right. How are they gaining anything by taking X yen in taxes away from industry, subtracting Y yen to pay the tax man and various and sundry other bureaucrats, and giving (X-Y) yen back to industry?

Guess it's a sweet deal if you're a tax man or a bureaucrat.

* - other than the frighteningly-genki girlfriend. Anime lied to me!
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TsukasaHiiragi



Joined: 24 Feb 2010
Posts: 176
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:35 pm Reply with quote
I'm not sure how this is going to help promote Japan, for instance most anime fans and otaku like myself know where to get most goods, and for the most part thats ebay Razz simply because, lets face it - being otaku is one of the more expensive hobbies for westerners, my Japanese penpal cannot believe the average cost of goods compared to what he pays on average.

This is part due to the import fees on goods, and the extra costs for companies like Funi and Sentai to dub so naturally, its more expensive because they also have to make profit after all. Also, we have very little in the way of anime on TV, pretty much Toonami and thats it for most people unless your very lucky to get the full funimation channel, since the on-demand one isn't very good at all.

If the Japanese government wants to successfully promote Japan, then getting costs lowered is the first start. I also think, giving a large amount of money to just one particular company isn't going to do much at all.
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Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:44 pm Reply with quote
TsukasaHiiragi wrote:
I'm not sure how this is going to help promote Japan, for instance most anime fans and otaku like myself know where to get most goods, and for the most part thats ebay Razz simply because, lets face it - being otaku is one of the more expensive hobbies for westerners, my Japanese penpal cannot believe the average cost of goods compared to what he pays on average.

This is part due to the import fees on goods, and the extra costs for companies like Funi and Sentai to dub so naturally, its more expensive because they also have to make profit after all. Also, we have very little in the way of anime on TV, pretty much Toonami and thats it for most people unless your very lucky to get the full funimation channel, since the on-demand one isn't very good at all.

If the Japanese government wants to successfully promote Japan, then getting costs lowered is the first start. I also think, giving a large amount of money to just one particular company isn't going to do much at all.


Ebay is the most untrusted avenue for anime goods, getting fakes (especially figures) are common, I prefer AmiAmi, 1999, and HLJ for non-exclusive and non-promotional/Comiket/out of print/super rare items and Yahoo Japan auctions for specific promotional items I can't get normally, Comiket exclusives, and out of print items.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:34 pm Reply with quote
Investing that much seems like a really big risk because they might not break even or beyond. Personally, I'd cap it at $15 million.
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:54 pm Reply with quote
From reading this article it does look promising, but I'm not sure if this will fix many issues many anime fans around the world brought up, Cool Japan has been criticized and had faced failure many times.

One thing that I like to know is will J-drama and J-music be also promoted as part of this program?

I mean regarding J-dramas, I'm happy to see Dramafever and Crunchyroll are getting more J-dramas, but we're not getting a lot like compared to K-dramas, and Taiwanese dramas are starting to get picked up more and more, I mean just this year, Dramafever just got it's first Taiga drama from NHK. I mean I never heard of J-dramas being dubbed and shown on Latin/South American TV unlike K-dramas, where they are super-popular. I like to note after K-drama got popular in Latin America, Taiwan took advantage of the popularity of K-drama and now Taiwanese drama are starting to pick up popularity in that region, I know one in particular that got super popular. So why isn't Japan marketing their J-dramas in Latin America when Korean and Taiwanese dramas are gaining popularity?

Also regarding J-music, I think a lot of you know that their sales have been going down for the last few years, a recent Billboard article has mention that sales in Japan is really down at it's lowest. I hate to bring up South Korea, but their music sales have already doubled for the last 3 years and it's expected to continue to rise. So if J-music industry start putting more music on Itunes globally, and put up full PV instead of short version and stop taking down fansub PVs, that would really help the music industry in Japan a lot, I never believe in self-sufficiency (because South Korea and Taiwan used to had that same mentality like Japan, but turns out that it never work). I'll agreed with this person's comment made on Jpopasia:

A person on Jpopasia wrote:
you hear that, japan? keep blocking easy access to your music videos based on stupid "copyright" grounds you'll continue to see decrease in the interest of your music and an increase in korean music.

my japanese music collection used to outnumber my korean music collection two songs to one, now, for every one japanese song i have, i have 3/4 of a korean song. pretty soon, it's gonna be for every two korean songs i have, i'll have one japanese song.


I share that same thought when it comes to J-music.

TsukasaHiiragi wrote:

If the Japanese government wants to successfully promote Japan, then getting costs lowered is the first start. I also think, giving a large amount of money to just one particular company isn't going to do much at all.


Beside lowering cost and whatever you mention, It's not only that. Japan really need to start aggressively marketing their product more to a international audience and global anime fan bases, I mean it looks like Japanese firms don't have a lot of knowledge (or even grasp) on globalization.

I hate to bring up South Korea in this thread, but when it comes to aggressive marketing and knowing globalization: South Korea has it all. I've been monitoring both South Korea and Japan, and I can confirmed that South Korea knows how to play the marketing game better and they're way ahead of Japan when it comes to globalization.

It's been acknowledged by several reliable sources that South Korea has "out-cool" Japan:

Newsweek-Korean Cool Is The Ultimate National Marketing Ploy

Financial post-How Korea became the world’s coolest brand

Korea is Asia’s foremost trendsetter: The Economist (other source: Unitedkpop)

EDIT: adding links to Newsweek article

The above links are correct, and I say that as a long time anime fans (7 years) and a person who just became a fan of K-pop/Hallyu last year.

To be honest, I'm not even sure that if Cool Japan marketing can be that effective since seeing that thing has failed many times.


Last edited by mdo7 on Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1296
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:14 am Reply with quote
@mdo7

Different marketing strategy from each country. The way I look at it, Koreans are all about broad mainstream appeal while Japanese are more focused on select media for whoever they think has the most appeal to.

I think Cool Japan view that their drama doesn't have major impact like animation and comics do. Even their live action is riding the tailcoat of manga inspired story. Probably that's why they gave so much money to Tokyo Otaku Mode because animation, comics, and games represent their pop culture better than the others even if they don't make gazillions of dollars

As a Korean guy who has mixed feeling toward both media in general, I think Korea is just taking advantage of what they're good at: Drama with non-sci-fi/fantasy setting and pop music. Just as Japanese are taking advantage of their strength: animation and comics.

Personally, I roll my eyes at K-Pop music shows/videos on local TV and I tend to avoid typical home drama for their cliche and low production value. For anime, there are tons of shows not worth my time.
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noblesse oblige



Joined: 22 Dec 2012
Posts: 257
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:45 am Reply with quote
It's the same the whole world over. Government stimulus packages are made for one purpose and one purpose only: to create a facade of legitimacy for government officials, cough cough Toshimitsu Motegi, to transfer wealth to their buddies, in exchange for future campaign support. For those of you hoping to see an injection of anime or any kind of japanese popular culture here in the States or anywhere else in the world for that matter, don't hold your breath. The money coming from this program won't ever get passed the highest officials within the companies. What do you guys think? Is Tokyo Otaku Mode even relevant in American otaku culture?
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soul.assassin



Joined: 09 May 2011
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:53 pm Reply with quote
From what I understand about the program, it's of course doesn't help that the program is limited in scope and its intended target audience, and it's always seen as a money-wasting joke that tends to create or foster unpleasant impressions of Japan in the global eye.

We had our government come up with the "It's More Fun in the Philippines" PR program and it became a hit despite criticism being leveled against it, and it restored confidence in ourselves as a people even though we are also critical of our government and the men who run it.

Yes, indeed, governments create PR programs to bring a positive image to the world, and to help improve foreign relations and boost trade, regardless of whether the press releases contradict reality or not. However, I insist that governments must be accountable and transparent on exactly how much they spend on PR programs, and who actually gets the money at the other end of the trail.

Either the program should return dividends or it could be seen more as a convenient scam.
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noblesse oblige



Joined: 22 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:29 pm Reply with quote
soul.assassin wrote:

We had our government come up with the "It's More Fun in the Philippines" PR program and it became a hit despite criticism being leveled against it, and it restored confidence in ourselves as a people even though we are also critical of our government and the men who run it.


If I'm not mistaken, the Philippines PR campaign was about promoting tourism, wasn't it? That's a sincere effort to boost tourism dollars, and a much more effective strategy than trying to promote exports through selective companies chosen to represent Japanese culture.

Quote:
However, I insist that governments must be accountable and transparent on exactly how much they spend on PR programs, and who actually gets the money at the other end of the trail.

Either the program should return dividends or it could be seen more as a convenient scam.


When programs like this are indeed legitimately aimed to improve a country's economy, the funding will often be awarded with the stipulation that the private company's finances become public, which is the ethical thing to do when you are funding a private company with public money.
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soul.assassin



Joined: 09 May 2011
Posts: 50
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:58 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
If I'm not mistaken, the Philippines PR campaign was about promoting tourism, wasn't it? That's a sincere effort to boost tourism dollars, and a much more effective strategy than trying to promote exports through selective companies chosen to represent Japanese culture.


Exactly, which is why even at the moment memes are still being made and based on that simple message. Smile

Looking at the PR campaign's scope, "Cool Japan's" target audience doesn't include me because my interests are now in Japanese cinema and pop music, so the Japanese government is kind of giving a short shrift towards the other fanbases (including me) and industries while throwing in a veritable blank check for the "chosen ones", those companies might spend in any way they could to export this so-called "coolness", to countries who are more intensely interested in watching soap operas, exchange text messages, or browse their Facebooks.

Asides from the limited scope and audience, where the money is going will be unsurprisingly enough fodder for an opposition Diet member to question the economic viability of the PR campaign, and the LDP of course will attempt to squelch criticism (and then this is no different from the emperor's new clothes, right?) in response.
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:33 pm Reply with quote
Nooble5 wrote:
Looks like some of the 14 Billion Yen will be coming to the United States towards Tokyo Otaku Mode.


Although incorporated in Delaware, TOM has no operations in the USA. Their offices and operations are entirely in Japan.

It's possible that TOM may set up a distribution center for merch in the USA, but for the time being, there's zero indication that any of that money would be spent in the USA.
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Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:43 pm Reply with quote
noblesse oblige wrote:
When programs like this are indeed legitimately aimed to improve a country's economy, the funding will often be awarded with the stipulation that the private company's finances become public, which is the ethical thing to do when you are funding a private company with public money.


Not gonna happen.

Cool Japan has been handing money out for two years now. I know very certainly that at least some of the companies who have received that money have not been asked to publish their financing.

Quote:
The money coming from this program won't ever get passed the highest officials within the companies.


No I can give you good, although vague news... The way Cool Japan works is that they promise $X to a certain company for certain approved expenses. They do not hand the cash to the company. That company must then spend the money on the approved projects and then submit invoices or proof of expenses to METI in order to receive their compensation. I know of many anime that had their foreign release facilitated by money from Cool Japan.

-t
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