Cool Japan in the World

by Megumi Shishido

Japanese contents such as MANGA, ANIME, GAME and Fashion are popular in Europe, America and Asia. The Japanese government understands like this, uses the word “Cool Japan” which means Japanese popular products and service (creative industry). The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established the Cool Japan office, the Creative Industries Promotion Office in 2010. It promotes expanding overseas, informing Cool Japan the interior and the exterior, making ministerial transverse plans and promoting them. In Japan the real economic growth rate of the 2000s is under 1%, the working-age population decreases and the Japanese economy’s potential growth rate will decline. METI wants to uncover domestic demand, bring in foreign demand, maintain the new source of profit and be activated regional economies. And METI expects that foreign people are fascinated with Japan through Cool Japan and go to Japan to see the sights.

What are the primary factors that Japanese contents were accepted overseas? They include merely high-quality design and concept. Beyond them, the big one of factors is respect. Compare brand values between of Japan and of Korea. Korean economy is growing and Korean contents become popular overseas. We can say that Korean image is tremendously improving. According to SAMSUNG Economics Research Institute, the real value of Korean brand is 15th and the imaginal value of that is 19th in the world. The real value was ranked higher 3ranks than that of the last year, but the imaginal value didn’t change. While, the real value of Japanese brand is 4th and the imaginal value of that is 1th in the world. I surprised at the findings because I thought Korean future prospects are more than Japanese those and the imaginal value of Korean brand will be ranked much higher. Anyway, Japan is still admired.

Why Japan is still admired? It is reason why Japanese intellectual property is made in enough easy form that even children can understand. It follows Edo’s popular culture that has high spiritualities and artistic qualities. Japanese idea and Japaneses who create various cultures are accepted positively. However, differences of modeling characters, context that customers are wanted abilities to understand and understanding for culture that Japanese contents are childish are high barriers and foreigners shy away from contents made in Japan. So, not contents made in Japan but Japanese forms are often exported. For example, “SASUKE” that people compete using own strong physiques succeeded by exporting not programs made in Japan but the programs’ form. However, now the government dosen’t try to export Japanese forms. The government still tries to export contents themselves made in Japan. Also, for exporting contents the government begins controlling expressions. I think this is a bad tendency.

I think it is a good thing that Cool Japan informs overseas but the government should shift exports of Japanese form. Also, in METI’s policy the economic side is too strong, so I want the government to think quality of works and effects of controlling expressions.


The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Cool Japan/ Creative industrial policy.


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