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Japanese Goverment Funds New Foreign Channel to Air Anime

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
New channel to launch in Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia with Europe, US, Africa being considered

The Japanese government will fund a new foreign "Japan Channel" that will broadcast anime, dramas, music programs, and travel programs. The government is allocating 15.5 billion yen (about US$14.7 million) for subtitling and dubbing costs as well as publicity, setting up foreign broadcasting offices, and co-producing programs. The new channel will launch in Thailand in January, in Indonesia in February, and in Cambodia in April. The government is also considering launching the channel in the United States, Europe, and Africa.

In 2002 the Japanese government launched its intellectual property policy outline, with a goal of becoming "a nation built on intellectual property." Included in that plan was to transmit Japanese culture to the foreign countries, but the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has noted that so far any support for this has been sporadic because "there has been no leadership in the government."

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had announced in June that the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' "Cool Japan" initiative will get its own investment fund in November. Cool Japan is a program supported by the Japanese government and various companies that promotes modern Japanese culture such as anime and manga abroad. The program revolves around the premise that Japan's strength in business and international affairs lies in anime, manga, films, fashion, and other fields of Japanese arts and entertainment content.

The Sankei Shimbun newspaper reports that the government is launching the channel use "soft power" to help counter the negative image that China and South Korea have been spreading about Japan regarding the territorial disputes with China over the Senkaku Islands and with South Korea over the Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks) island group.

Source: Sankei Shimbun

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