Of course this stunt was bound to get a few tongues wagging, however the meat within, indicating the Feds renewed push for moving domestic digital content into markets overseas, is apparent if not politically motivated. Prime Minister Aso, a well-known manga maniac, was recently quoted as suggesting his government would like to create 500,000 new jobs in the music, fashion and media space by 2020.
As part of 15 trillion yen of fresh stimulus measures unveiled today, Japan hopes to raise the percentage of its exports of “soft power” – manga, animated films, video games and pop music – from 2% of the total to 18% over the next decade, creating half a million jobs.
The cultural affairs agency has reportedly requested 12 billion yen to create a national centre for media art that would promote Japanese pop culture overseas. The traditional manga market was worth just over 400 billion yen in 2007, down from around 580 billion yen a decade earlier, while sales of e-manga are forecast to rise to over 70 billion yen by 2012.
The proverbial thousand points of light.. it would seem the heat is on!