‘Cool Japan’ and Creative Industries: An Evaluation of Economic Policies for Popular Culture Industries in Japan
‘Cool Japan’ has been a cross-departmental policy agenda for Japanese government that has gained prominence over the last 10 years or so. Although the government has been reticent about cultural policy in general and particularly to East and Southeast Asia in post-war decades, attention has recently been given to the international popularity of Japanese popular culture such as manga and anime with policies aiming to cash in on what is named ‘Cool Japan’ phenomenon. Policy has been, however, patchy and disjointed. This paper will examine the background and emergence of this policy with industrial and economic aims, its recent transformation and impact on cultural flows in Asia. It will argue that whilst the government’s policy for popular culture industries may not have led to significant results, it has done what it could legitimately do without riding on the bandwagon of the creative industries discourse that has swept across the rest of the world. The chapter will also stress the importance of the industries to broaden their regional perspectives.
KeywordsCultural policy Japan Cool Japan Creative industries Pop culture
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