The Japanese government is taking matters into its own hands by spending 15.5 billion yen ($14.7 million) to launch its own TV network with an eye to foreign distribution. The rollout includes Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia, but hope to spread to North America, Europe and Africa. The channel will host a variety of programs, including anime, dramas, music programs, and travel programs. It’s all part of an ongoing program to spread Japanese culture, which pirate scanlation sites have been doing the heavy lifting on for a while. It’s also part of a move to improve Japan’s reputation abroad.
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.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.