Japan: “We Will Now Quadruple Anime Exports!”

taf-boycott-before-and-after-3

A few days after it stood by as the anime industry was humiliatingly singled out for a ban, the Japanese government is now announcing a plan to quadruple anime and game exports.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, historically notorious for interfering with any industry it thinks it can run better than the private sector, has decreed that as part of its “Cool Japan” strategy the nation’s content industries will increase their exports fourfold by 2020.

The very cool sounding “Cool Japan Public-Private Advisory Council” is looking to oversee an increase in “cultural” exports (singling out content industries such as anime and games, as well as fashion and food) of between 2 to 4 times, to as much as 200 billion dollars from the current 50 billion. It expects anime, games and so forth to account for some 35 billion dollars of this total.

It estimates the total size of the global market for such “cultural” goods will double in the same period, to 11 trillion dollars.

The scheme would see affected industries forced to endure “public-private partnerships” (i.e. businesses doing what civil servants tell them to, or else) in pursuit of growth, a strategy which has been the cornerstone of Japanese industrial policy in the post-war period, with mixed results – most notably, the ministry’s predecessor actually tried to stop Sony from producing electronics and Honda from producing cars.

Successful animation, comic and gaming industries are of course not known for state involvement – quite the contrary in fact.

Having Japan’s incompetent yet depressingly numerous civil servants and politicians try to take over the anime and game industries may in fact be the last thing they need, particularly with the state’s main interest in these industries so far being nothing but a series of efforts to ban and censor them, or bully them into “voluntary restraints.”

Coming just after the publishing industry was subjected to humiliating treatment at the hands of Tokyo’s government, it does seem likely that the ministry will find the industry less than welcoming at this stage – and what better way to start the plan off than by the cancellation of the Tokyo International Anime Fair?

Leave a Comment

233 Comments

        • Noo~! Then Anime and Manga will lose its own identity as a Japanese product.. The industy will be force to target foreginer market tastes.. The plot and story will change to suit foreginer market.. This plan may fail.. Just like how Dragon Ball, Astro Ball, etc made by USA.. Input of other culture will fail the product.. I want Japanese culture product.. Not international anime/ manga..

        • sigh… when moralists and crap use the government to their whims you get completely stupid things done…
          i HIGHLY doubt that the anime industry will somehow be 4x bigger by that time period, considering how the global economy is shifting, i see the industry staying about the same or slightly increasing, but 4x is a stretch, especially when you start introducing government mandates and laws and crap…
          this brings me to the FCC here in the USA, i personally think they are a useless organization and should be disbanded. one of the things they wish to do is get rid of net neutrality, if stupid moralists ranting about their outdated ideals and how everyone is “sinful” and is “going to hell” crap isnt enough, now they are going to censor the internet…
          the world is doomed… back into the dark ages we go…

        • Anonymous
          14:49

          the examples you gave were influenced by america, but were still japanese at heart.

          now just imagine stuff like afro samurai, which i believe was made in japan, but was basically an american product.

          now imagine japan handling what makes american want it, and you can see how fucked the product will be. and they would run the industry into the ground before they learned from mistakes.

          Anonymous
          14:49

          the fcc… yea. their war on obscenity needs to fucking stop, however their other job, is what they need to focus on. like them or not their other job is a required one that someone needs to do.

          i have faith in their compatance in that arena, as they have done nothing i know of so far to say otherwise.

          and i have faith that if isps start abused number 4, as in force you to pay more pre premium youtube speed, among other things, the law will change.

          Shippoyasha
          16:39

          those are settings, you dont understand at all. look up a game called neir, and THAT is what you should be afraid of.

        • So, with the (completely unnecessary) involvement of the government Japan’s animation will soon resemble politically correct old American cartoons, yes?

          Expect to see toy-like weapons in your Gunslinger Girl, Saban’s Sailor Moon and moral messages at the end of your Yasuga No Sora.

        • Speaking of foreign influenced anime, Gunslingers Girls series is generally great (even the new Teatrino) and Aria series was largely based on Venice of Italy.

          That said, I feel the anime and manga industries should stand up and shout outrage. I know I wouldn’t want Japan to have the notoriety for civil complaints the way France does, but sometimes, the industries should try to put up a defiant stance against stymieing of creative content and creative freedoms.

        • when I was at the tokyo international anime fair last year, it was great. except for the empty booths like western animations and korean etc.. 1 of the bigger booth that I’ve seen but also the most empty of them all was chinese animation. it was so utterly copypasta crap from japanese anime. I pray that chinese does not get its crap out into the world.

        • Sayonara, Japanese goodbye
          Whisper sayonara but you mustn’t cry

          Sayonara, if it must be so
          Whisper sayonara, smiling as we go

          No more we stop to see pretty cherry blossoms
          No more we ‘neath the tree looking at the sky

          Sayonara, sayonara
          Goodbye

          Sayonara, Japanese goodbye
          Whisper sayonara but you mustn’t cry

          Sayonara, if it must be so
          Whisper sayonara, smiling as we go

          No more we stop to see pretty cherry blossoms
          No more we ‘neath the tree looking at the sky

          Sayonara, sayonara
          Goodbye

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUeWPQHzycg

        • @ Anon 14:49 23/12/2010 while i agree with you on certain points about the FCC they are actually trying to ENSURE net neutrality in fact they recently succeeded in making it so it is illegal for you’re IP to limit access to certain sites such as bittorrent. In short yeah they suck giant tentacle monster balls in regards to TV they are useful for the internet in some ways at least.

        • Yes, there may be production foreign anime and manga, but Japanese manga would still be favored by majority.
          imho it doesn’t deserve to be called “anime” or “manga” if it is produced abroad Japan.
          “American” manga? What, the Amazing Spiderman?

          There will probly many attempts, yes, but I disagree that anime would lose it’s identity.

        • “Quadruple” is buzzword in order to sell to the people that state decisions will be beneficial, but they never actually work out.

          It’s equivalent to President Obama proposing massive stimulus packages saying it will create jobs, but when the figures come in, unemployment continues to go up.

        • excuse me, internet has been acting like an ADD kid with suicidal tendencies… crappy net logged me out along with a ton of other annoying things…
          “sigh… when moralists and crap use the government to their whims you get completely stupid things done…
          i HIGHLY doubt that the anime industry will somehow be 4x bigger by that time period, considering how the global economy is shifting, i see the industry staying about the same or slightly increasing, but 4x is a stretch, especially when you start introducing government mandates and laws and crap…
          this brings me to the FCC here in the USA, i personally think they are a useless organization and should be disbanded. one of the things they wish to do is get rid of net neutrality, if stupid moralists ranting about their outdated ideals and how everyone is “sinful” and is “going to hell” crap isnt enough, now they are going to censor the internet…
          the world is doomed… back into the dark ages we go…”

        • “it doesn’t deserve to be called “anime” or “manga” if it is produced abroad Japan.”

          Korea wants to talk to you about who draws your animu.

          “Input of other culture will fail the product.”

          Fuck you, Big O was strongly influenced by the ’90’s Batman cartoon and it was awesome. Not to mention Cowboy Bebop (Jazz) or Trigun (cowboys) or god knows how many others.

        • The thing is, you guys were missing the entire point of having two different MCs in NiER. I personally prefer RepliCant- not for the look of the main character, but because of what they intended. And that is for the audience to think about the implications of each story character.

          The father in NiER is tragic- he will do anything and everything to save his daughter, and will give up every penny he makes towards her recovery. The obsessiveness of the doting parent is evident in every action he makes in the game regarding Yonah.

          The brother Nier is also tragic, but for different reasons- he will do anything he can to save his sister, and will give up anything he earns, his own wellbeing, to help her recover. His obsessiveness is stranger and more dangerous, however, because the positions have changed… and because while father Nier clings to his daughter as the meaning of his life and the thing that makes him smile, the burden of a 15 year old boy to take complete care of his sister, despite their poverty, is a desperate struggle which may even leave him feeling resentful towards her- but at the same time, his resentment is mixed with the same desperation, the same need for her to define his life. So he loves and hates her at the same time, and himself as well… the madness he is slipping into is palpable. But maybe that’s just because I’m the only one who read Grimoire NiER. You can find it here:

          http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgvmkf89_228fxgghgg3

          Aside from that, the generalization that we would find the brother less attractive as a protagonist than the father was a bit cruel and ignorant, but the fact remains they didn’t create two characters specifically for US release- they created two for the Japan release, and decided on one version for the US.

        • Anonymous
          21:38

          neir was a face lift, they couldn’t change all to much in it, and it was a last ditch effort to try to appeal to american audiences.

          to me the concept of them taking a character and changing it to a “western ideal” was enough for me to not support it at all.

          now imagine that it took that mentality from day 1, and not just and 11th hour face lift.

          The REAL Lamberto
          23:57

          i vote any country what isn’t afraid of its people as being a shitty government. japan is so afraid of its people it constantly tries to keep them in the dark about anything. its not a good fear like france has, but its getting there.

          Firetribe
          03:24

          busy work. its kind of like recycling, it creates jobs, but they are mostly temp.

          and i thought unemployment was over all going down?

          and lastly, 5% unemployment is the ideal. i cant go into it in length here because i have to remember all the details, but yea.

        • @alidan

          Except the main char design,the change in NIER was acceptable imo..
          I don’t know about you, but i’m more moved by a father trying to save his daughter than the “onii-chan” thing.. wich is cute, but not tragic enough considering the plot.

          And overall, NIER was a great game, so the minor change ( cause you really don’t pay attention when you’re playing ) don’t affect the experience.

          Now back on the subject i’m not saying i want barbarian and macho in anime, but NIER , even if it wasn’t welcomed at first, passed the westernisation without losing any bit of it’s quality .
          so it’s not really a good example of what you should be afraid.
          Except if you’re ONLY taking the MC design in consideration but then you’re judging a book by it’s cover .

      • If their plans for increased export are anything like’s Square Enix’s attempts to widen their western audience, I wouldn’t be getting too excited even if we had reason to believe they have even an inkling of whats going on in their own government.

        • @anon 14:49

          “Korea wants to talk to you about who draws your animu.”

          Outsourcing. So what? It’s still not of Korean culture. They’re being paid to draw JAPANESE animation, not KOREAN. See how that works? The Japanese culture is still there.

          “Fuck you, Big O was strongly influenced by the ’90’s Batman cartoon and it was awesome. Not to mention Cowboy Bebop (Jazz) or Trigun (cowboys) or god knows how many others.”

          There’s an undeniable foreign influence in those. And that’s precisely why I don’t like them.

          Foreign influence in whatever given product is a bad idea. I don’t want Tom Cruise in my Kenshins. I don’t want white kids living in L.A. as substitutes for my Gokus. I don’t want Asuka Souryu Langley being renamed Kate Rose. I don’t want to white kids as protagonists in my wuxia films. I don’t want Archies in my Love Hinas. I don’t want Britney Spears in my Macrosses. I don’t want samurai in my Jacks. I don’t want foreign shit in my animation period. It doesn’t matter where it comes from.

        • 18:15 anon, you’re overreacting a bit there.

          For many outsourced stuff, they can get by the ban through outsourcing. Like a creator in Japan outsourcing stuff and even if it’s 100% made in Korea (technically), they can then market it elsewhere other than Japan (OH THE IRONY) and they can find loopholes and it could be a good way to continue business as usual.

          The bans says a lot about AIRING and distribution of anime and manga, but I don’t think it’s easily enforcible if it has to do with simply creating content to be sold elsewhere.

          You know, many novelists in the past had to move around various nations to find their niche and audience and acceptance. It’d be kind of funny if anime/manga creators goes to Taiwan, Korea, America, etc so they have the freedoms to make something they want.

        • The fuck are you on about? I love me some Evangelion, Ranma, InuYasha, Kurenai, Kenshin, Ah! Megami-sama, Highschool of the Dead, Amatsuki etc. Mind you, I DO watch moe stuff and can appreciate its charm, but I watch with strict moderation.

          Nice going, there, though. You don’t know what you’re talking about AND you make assumptions. Two shitbirds with one stone. Impressive.

        • You mad? Again, the fact you would deem animes like Cowboy Bebop which’s well regarded as a classic by both the eastern and western fans as “bad”. Says enough about how little credibility your opinions hold. It’s obviously who’s the real ignorant one here.

          Protip: It’s okay if you wanna make subjective bullshits, just say so. Don’t make it sound like the whole world agrees with you. That’s when you’ve gone full retarded.

        • >Implying Big O, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun are bad.
          >Implying foreign influence is always bad.
          >Implying your opinion is not subjective but rather the truth for all.

          So you’re only into moeblobyshits? Then your opinion holds no water.

      • i just hope that “Western Market” its not only USA
        Canada, Mexico and the whole Southamerica are great buyers of Anime and Japanese Games, saddly the lack of japanese “Effort” to sell it to us its the main reason these countries cannot distinguish between Chineese cloned products and sweet Japanese imports

    • Stupid fuckers, what were they thinking until now? 80% or more of japanese anime, manga and games never leaved the borders of Japan. And nowadays when you dont even need to export it physically (they can distribute them online, like on Steam for example) what are they hesitating for? Translation costs? Hell, there are tons of fans who’d translate all their games for fucking FREE.

      Dumbshits.

  • Before ban:

    Who cares about America? All they want are their big guns. They don’t care about our manga/games

    After ban:

    Hey America you know i was kidding right? So how about you buy more of our stuff. You know boost the economy

      • Yeah, but any anime or manga which is banned in Tokyo (the biggest market in all of Japan for anime and manga) is de facto banned in the rest of Japan.

        It’s like if Funimation got a license to distribute Panty & Stocking in the US but were prohibited from selling it in CA or the northeast corridor – the rest of the country would wind up unable to get P&S if Funi were banned from selling it where most of their customers live as Funi wouldn’t waste their money selling a million copies of P&S per state in states with less than a million people.

        [that said, i’m really looking forward to a US release of P&S, which hopefully will NOT be banned in CA or the northeast]

    • It’s a bit like federal vs state.

      It’s something that is to be expected since Ishihara is backed by the a faction of the LDP, the DPJ seems to be doing this to shore up a larger support from the industry as well as an attempt in making themselves look like “the good guy” by appealing to a demographic that is clearly sidelined by Ishihara (read: LDP).

      I’m not sure if this is a good move by the DPJ, though I don’t see any immediate or even long term political fallout coming out from this

      • To be honest I’m actually surprised since I assume the majority of sankaku readers are Americans who should be familiar with differences between local government and national government which is clearly the case here.

        or is it the case of a failing of the education system resulting in failure in reading comprehension?

        • I don’t think it’s a failure in reading comprehension, it’s just a failure of education in general.

          American schools don’t teach students about government anymore. It’s only WWII, Cold War, and some international stuff.

        • i dont know about you, but as far as i understand it, its like having Hollywood ban the making of movies, and then the US government saying that they will increase exports of US movies. it just makes no sense why they would think its possible.

          well remember that the comparison i made up there is actually not that great, but you should be able to understand what im trying to get at.

        • Majority of sankaku readers are probably mostly Americans, and I suppose of a somehow good education. However, considering that US has an estate centred and republican government rather than a federal centred and parliament government, certain differences may not seem clear to many Americans.

          Or like I heard once, do not tribute malice for something that can be explained by stupidity, or similar sentence.

      • So this is like saber-rattling.

        The mayor makes scary noises, “I’m going to beat up otaku.”

        So the Prime Minister says, “Those otaku are my otaku, don’t screw with my vassals.”

        And now the public-private middlemen are running out into the streets screaming, “Long live the Prime Minister! We live to protect the beloved otaku of the Prime Minister!”

        The middlemen are just trying to make a big show of being enthusiastic, like an office lady pretending to run/trot to the copying machine.

  • Honestly, what the FUCK is the Japanese government smoking lately? At the very least they should all try getting on the same page so they smoke the same stuff, because while one side of the government is basically trying to destroy anime, another says it wants to boost anime’s success worldwide. MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MINDS!!!

  • WTF?

    Does Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry not read the news or anything?

    Are they not aware of the damage that homo hating homophobic bastard in Tokyo recently did to the industry it wants to grow?

    Maybe it’s time the Yakuza paid Ishi baby a visit.

      • ‘the PTA which is more powerful and more threatening that the Yakuza. Yes the Parent Teachers Association in Japan is ridiculous’

        Yeah.

        Come to think of it, the Yakuza probably have ties to the PTA.

        And neither the Yakuza nor the PTA are likely to be pro-gay.

        Thus if someone says, “Hey, Yakuza, beat up Ishihara for being anti-gay,” the Yakuza will probably respond, “Man, we’re anti-gay also.”

  • Just what we need more big gub’mint bureaucrats deciding what anime should fit in “Cool Japan.” Only a desk-jocky politician with zero economic and business experience could have come up with something as this.

    The truth is government cannot run anything right. They failed at health care, running the auto industry, then education, but now they will finally succeed at running the anime industry into the ground.

    Stay away from otaku culture and let the market determine what’s best for the industry!

  • American children’s cartoons are very much censored. But not all animated media is censored like south park, family guy, and most of those adult swim shows. The thing about American cartoons is that if they marketed them to an adult audience they could go without all the censorship. How ever when animated media was originally censored it destroyed the spirit of a lot of independant artist who could not afford to produce cartoons on their own buggets. Its very possible for mature and well animated cartoons to exist in the US legally. Only anime geared towards children will be overly censored. Like what they did to one piece and naruto, bleach they sensored a bit, but raised the age range. Yu yu hakusho was censored for television, but also sold a more graphic version. Most animes that come to america are geared towards mature audiences, the japanese children’s shows aren’t very popular and often time can’t make it oveseas. Companies like Disney will NEVER produce anything will controversy non-family oriented material, but there are other companies that will. And alot of good anime companies know better than to censor and change the original content now. but if they’re censored in Japan first then we’re screwed.

    • The Disney corporation won’t even distribute Miyazakis “Only Yesterday” because of a brief mention of menstruation! I got tired of years of waiting and imported a region 2 disc from the U.K.
      All this from a company whose founder (Walt) thought Hitler was the greatest thing since sliced bread until the war started. Then he gouged the goverment exorbitant fees to make propaganda cartoons, Warner Bros. did it pretty much at cost.
      Family friendly my ass!!! What bullshit!!

  • Our last hope, looks like is Jcomi.
    I heard the server is OUT OF JAPAN.

    http://ascii.jp/elem/000/000/578/578310/index-4.html

    赤松 JコミはアメリカAmazonのEC2を使っているとお話ししていましたが、実際のサーバーはフィリピンにあります。結論から言ってしまうと、Jコミは「都条例がどうなろうと関係ない」ようです(笑)。

  • If anime is put through a government advisary council prior to export it will be so homogenized it will have all the edginess of “Hello Kitty”. The goverment wouldnt want to be accused of exporting art that offends the sensibilties of conservatives in America or the the rest of the west. The marketplace and the maketplace alone, should be the determining factor without government interference.
    If the product sucks, for whatever reason it won’t sell. Government interference just sucks the creativity out of any endeavor it pokes its greasy fingers into and should not be tolerated on either side of the Pacific.

  • We have togo against the ban by boycotting in our own countries now. Though its not like I buy the shit in my own country because its already heavily censored. Uncensored anime comes to the US an turns into shit. horrible censoed anime will come to america and turn into the epitomy of garbage. I will continue to read and watch online for free. sorry Japan, I’m not supporting your foreigner hating asses.

  • It would seem like those idiots haven’t even heard about Ishihara’a dumbfuckery. Or about the international outrage about it. What? Do they expect that well-informed people will buy potentially censored shows?
    Here’s an interesting thought. What if certain shows would fall prey to that new law, yet they’d be completely untoched for the international market?
    That would be a blast.

    • Can you give me any links or any evidence to this “international outrage” ?
      For me international means some bigger media, like any known newspaper, tv station, and maybe some rainbow press, whatever..
      Ok, Tokyo Gov knows that “some creepy internet idiots, probably the biggest scumbags out there are enraged”, but nobody else.
      But who gives a shit about some (hundred)thousands of internet scumbags who just cry for their rights in the anonymity of the internet, about idiots who threaten peoples live, or their work, or their reputation knowing they wont lift a finger ?

      For me this is just an internetional outrage.
      And even this is so fucking small that no one cares… sadly

  • Government involvement is never a good thing, all it does is create an artificial bubble that can not last. And what’s more most anime fans in the USA know that we only get to see the top 10% of anime from Japan because the other 90% is crap. I have no problem with them selling me the good stuff if it suits my taste, but why in the hell would I want to buy crap? They talk of quality, so they’ll have to come up with a means of making more quality series but under the restrictions the government put on anime and manga can they even manage that?
    This almost sounds like the USA’s comics code authority back in the 60’s which nearly killed the USA’s comics industry, which is now a shadow of it’s former self.

    Sorry to sound so ultra-conservative but to quote Ronald Reagan “Government is never the solution, government is the problem.”

  • IT’S CONSPIRACY!!! They have to censor anime and manga IN ORDER TO be able to export it. If they are to export it, they would probably dub it, and then it WON’T be anime or manga, only originial language should be there.

    If it were not for the Tokyo ban, they could add furigana to seinen manga, add a dictionary and basic grammar, and sell it like that. Or add engrish the same way as furigana is being used. They should target late teens/college students audience, because most of them in western countries think, that if it is animated or drawn, then it’s for kids.

    Now if they banned production of more adult oriented themes, I will have to move to other media. There is still some good things left in Japan, I have just downloaded Battle Royale, Suicide Club, Multiple Personal Detective Psycho and some other interesting works. Some of those films could not be created in western countries because they are too controversial and no company would be willing to pay for it’s creation and then sell it as 18+ rated – it would not be commercially viable. Because of Tokyo ban, those stories cannot be presented in anime or manga form, so good and interesting anime or manga will cease to exist, and only kids show will be produced from now on. Sayonara Nihongo, I will have to look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploitation_film page in order to see something shocking and nonconventional.

  • Seroiusly, i don’t know why it would mean westernized animes… More exports means more things for us, i don’t really see a problem there… You can even imagine they would release “uncensored” versions of anime and games for us, since we aren’t affected by the Tokyo ban.
    But again, stop trolling on useless matters. Nothing’s done yet, and (maybe) nothing will happen.

  • It would be nice if the Blu-Ray, compliation DVDs had subs provided. But noooooooooooo – what is the point of more exports if the viewing collector can understand what is going on.

    On another note, here is something the Ministry can do something about – as far as meddling in industry goes.

    It can get the top 5 Nippon Automotive Manufacturers, to build an all electric light utility pick-up truck for general sale and export. Although most hybrids and all electric cars have some market share for green conscious commuters. There is a large potential market for environmentally conscious truck drivers who would like nothing better than to stop driving their pollution belching trucks and drive a truck that doesn’t promote environmental suicide.

    There are lots of things that a small truck can carry – that a commuter car can not.
    Especially for young single individuals, whose needs to move when moving day comes. Having a relative with a truck – or just knowing someone with a truck to take care of business.

    Also, trucks aren’t stolen as much as cars are because of the nature of the usage of trucks.

    I miss having a big old ford truck to carry stuff and to drive where cars can’t go.
    But would gladly invest in a new utility vehicle if it were a green conscious all electric pick-up truck.

    ^_^

  • Dear Japan,

    Please export your good stuff pre-Tokyo-ban. We do not want crap that you think will foreigners will like or your low budget junk. Also do not change your stuff to be westernized. We like the stuff you like as is, otherwise we wouldn’t even bother trying to get it.

  • I would actually be behind this maneuverer if I thought Japan would make an earnest effort to market its culture to the west, instead of second guessing western taste just to get it all wrong in the end. They could learn a lot from the way the US has whored itself out to the world.

  • As long as the quadrupled anime exports includes four times the amount of slice-of-life moé anime making it to North American shores, I won’t object to whatever other American-audience-pandering they might create.

    I mean, three years later and I’m still waiting for official North American releases of Minami-ke, Moé-tan, and Kodomo no Jikan. >:-( mad

    • Dude with people fearing the the innundo that shows children (or thoses that look like them) they might not get a release (excpt Minami-ke that may get releases) I mean the manga of Kodomo no Jikan was almost release here but then they saw the secound voloum.

  • China can’t produce much art worth shit because the government is too obtrusive.

    This can’t be that bad, but I can’t help but think that bureaucrats’ bloodless influence will be bad for anime. I can see they trying to make sure the depiction of Japan in anime is uniformly flattering.

    • ZZ Gundam = people dies = “Cartoon characters is not allowed to die, they can not die, they shall not die!!” = they will make censorship to sell it with NO BLOOD.

      Like Fist of North Star with was cut the killing scene in some country.

  • The question is if they can deliver the anime that other nations want on a schedule that is competitive with the part time translators who do this as a hobby.
    …or do they think we’ll accept bland “cultural exports” without a hint of ecchi or edge going for them that are also overpriced and a year out of date?

    • No ecchi is A-OK with me. Also, if you want it sooner, enjoy paying more for anime. You think it’s overpriced? Once anime gets released around the same time as it does in Japan, the price will double, because the Japanese companies are too afraid of reverse importation.

      But hey, who am I kidding? I’m sure you’re one of those types that just bitches about price and release dates to justify your thoughts and actions and wouldn’t buy anime even if it was “reasonably priced”.

      • Actually I’ve spent quite a bit of my money buying anime. Guess where that leads?

        In the most recent case of my “Negima!” purchase, it leads to me reading books that my friends all finished last year with no real benefit beyond owning a hard copy manga (in the age of electronic media).

        Now its clear to me that it doesn’t cost ridiculous amounts of money or time to translate these things. Japan, being the source of this material, has every ability to cut the fansubbers out of the business.
        If they make no earnest effort to do so then exactly how do they intend to “expand” into the lucrative foreign Otaku market?

        By selling us DVD’s of the things Japanese saw on TV months ago, selling them with all the censorship intact, selling them at higher prices, and NOT selling the stories that fans want to see?

        Let me know how that works out for ya.

      • Actually I’ve spent quite a bit of my money buying anime. I’ve also made the decision in some cases to wait for the official product rather than getting the fansubbed or scanlated versions, with the specific intention of “supporting the industry”.

        Guess where that leads?
        In the most recent case of my “Negima!” purchase, it leads to me reading books that my friends all finished last year with no real benefit beyond owning a hard copy manga (in the age of electronic media). Yea, that makes visiting wikipedia and fan forums fun when you’re trying to avoid spoilers.

        Now its clear to me that it doesn’t cost ridiculous amounts of money or time to translate these things. Japan, being the source of this material, has every ability to cut the fansubbers out of the business. They simply need to move the translation work in-house and get the RAWs to western television outlets in a timely manner.
        If they make no earnest effort to do so then exactly how do they intend to “expand” into the lucrative foreign Otaku market?

        By selling us DVD’s of the things Japanese saw on TV months ago, selling them with all the censorship intact, selling them at higher prices, and NOT selling the stories that fans want to see?

        Let me know how that works out for ya.
        I may be a fan of their cartoons, but there’s only so much abuse I’m willing to take before I simply choose not to watch Japanese TV.

  • I’ll take more imported anime on blu ray. I dont even need the dubs or subtitles, just straight raw format. If they can make exported releases almost simultaneous as their overseas counterpart, that woudld be great too.

  • This makes no sense… We already had that “equality now” fiasco because of a certain game being brought outside of Japan. Now they’re going to export more?

    It’s like eating an apple a day to make the doctor away.

    Then you eat fruit salad to make everybody go away.

  • NOW I SEE IT !!!!

    First the ban the Loli and Porn, to give anime and manga a better image in Joe Publics eyes
    and then the take over the industry
    and THAN the can export more and rake in the big cash

    because contend industries are known for there high return on investment, like you make a movie for 50 million and it grosses with everything included for over 250 million, thats a five times increase.
    Other industries couldnt even dream about such numbers

    This is all a craftly executed masterplan of the Japanese Elite to make more money.

    I tell you ITS TRUE !

    Sorry have to go into hiding now, but first someone knocking on my door. brb

  • There’s only so much culture people can buy, expecting us to buy four times as much on an presumably similar salary as today is wishful thinking, if they want a bigger share of the money they would have to make sure the quality of their products increase first, and using scare tactics will only have the opposite effect.

  • Why don’t we just overthrow every single government so we citizens have the right to take over! That’s right, I’m sick of the goddamn government bossing us around. It’s time to take action against the fascist faggots once and for all.

  • export something from Japan will bring tourism makes sense ….

    export more will kill their tourism, a tourist spends 30x more than a person who imports these products.

    it seems that the Japanese were smart …

  • This plan will fail. Any gov’t product will fail because:

    1. it’s under-financed
    2. The gov’t really doesn;t give a crap for quality
    3. Ishihara is still there
    4. Anime is forever, a private industry.

  • I’m annoyed that they’re trying to make up the money lost from japanese otakus that will me boycotting in the censors in the future by selling extra material to the foreigners they so hate. Also the fact that otaku are basically outcasts in Japan and they have the nerve to call it cool Japan. And apparently anime otakus are mentally fucked according to Ishihara. So they’re going to profit from the “mentally fucked up foreign losers they so hate.” umm….yea not happening.

  • Hey, you hear that? That’s the sound of anime being instrumentalized to show the West that Japan will become as morally superior as they are. Plus, with all the controversial themes being left out by the creators in fear of their product being banned in the future, it’ll sell even better in Western/morally uptight regions.

  • The govern wants his people making family-friendly anime to export and feels hentai and mature contents as a obstacle for it.

    So, they banned it.

    the great fear what we feel is anime turning like Totally Spies what absolutely NO ONE have a idea about what is KILL THE ENEMY.

    ….Oh yes, we needs more HELLSING-like anime.

  • export ?
    you saying about this after killing the local taste.
    it gotta be licensed product export. just like in 80s.

    that means anime will be directed by foreigner, and made by local japanese. to fit foreign taste.

    what a joke .lol

  • I would love to see this work, and I’m sure with investment and a hands off attitude it (potentially) could. As was said, though, this ministry has a history of interfering a bit too much with business–this is coming from an anti-big business pro-regulation liberal.

    The anime and game industry isn’t blame free though, they have become so insular focused on otaku tastes and fetishes that it’s hard for outsiders to get into it. Look at all the borderline porn that’s come out as TV anime lately, as opposed to stories with actual character development and plot. Not to say those don’t exist anymore, but they’re certainly a more rare creature than they were even a few years ago. I’m not saying I want the gubment to interfere with anime production, but I do think some fresh ideas from any direction would help revitalize the industry.

  • Well that is all fine, however can you PLEASE make sure you export stuff to the UK, we live off the scraps that other countries deem as hits, most of the anime I want to watch I cannot get legally..!

    Don’t want to have to resort to downloading illegal copies off anime sites….but I will if that is the only way I can get to see new and exciting stuff, or I could move to the USA, lol.

  • Uh-oh. That initiative, applied with a zeal, might spell the end of fansubbing 🙁

    Fansubbing lives in the gray area of int’l copyright since most of the anime isn’t licensed outside of Japan.

    If Japan would start blankly licensing all stuff it releases (like MPAA/RIAA members do now) then it would shrink the gray area considerably.

    The worst part is that worst of fansubbing arena would live on: DVD and CruncyCarp/etc rippers, they are already -willingly- outside of the gray area. But we are know what quality their releases have…

  • So this means that there won’t be anime/game releases that would start in Japan only? no need to get licensed by foreign companies so that we get to have an English version of their products?

    Sounds reasonable but this isn’t like Japan at all.

    • Your logic fails because :

      1. Japan will not be interested in exporting any title that would be affected by this law. Ecchi is for home use, the rest of us will continue to get robots and ganbatte (sports, music, any kind of career) anime. Even without this law, Japan would never dare release something like “Ore no Imouto…” into the west. That would be like waving a red flag in front of western feminists, and they’ve already had a taste of western feminism’s hate for Japan’s view of women.

      2. Private companies have failed completely. They’ve had 40 years and nothing. Look at the Macross debacle, that franchise should be universal in it’s appeal with it’s combo of robots and idols yet they fucked it up beyond repair in the west. The gov’t can’t do worse can it?

  • lol this is ridiculous; though I hope they localize games/anime and getting rid of region locks and adding english subs etc… I doubt it would happen. It’s going to be westernized like DBZ etc… if that’s the case, than count me out because I don’t want that shit -_-;;

  • that’s the best way to promote piracy stupid..
    actually, reread it..
    how can ya increase in sales what is only dominate in your OWN country. there arent enuff ppl besides in Jap that love anime on that level. ya want to increase whats there? allow the anime to be broadcast simultaneously outside of Japan.
    dumbass

  • “Cool Japan” strategy by exporting anime, video games starring androgynous people, and food…? I guess this is aimed primarily at the asian markets? Because if they try to push this in the west, they might as well call it the “Geeky Japan” strategy.

  • Actually, this might not not be so bad if the Japanese gaming industry is also affected. The R2 game companies have been fucking around when it comes to getting titles out of Japan for so long now–Maybe the Japanese government can use the fear of the JSDF to get them to actually release some more titles here.

    Think about it: The Japnese government could force companies like Namco-Bandai to stop dicking around and greatly expand the titles they localize here. They could even pay the company to give them incentive to localize titles that would be expensive and/or high-risk (Tales, IdolM@ster, etc).

    Or better yet, the Japanese government could order Sony to get their American/European branches to lax their approval process in favor of Japanese PS3/PSP games. This could be a huge breakthrough for those of us that want console visual novels to be localized here.

    Of course, that’s assuming they don’t try to control the content of the titles (I.E. forcing companies to make their titles more appealing to a “western” audience). If they don’t do this with their games/anime, I’m all for this proposal, although it may be way too much to ask for.

  • Neat Hedgehog says:

    At first, this article made me think of various things related to economics and the dumb stunts being pulled by the Japanese government…

    then I read the phrase “voluntary restraints,” my mind went in the gutter, and I had to go look up pics pertaining to said phrase.

  • I’m going to watch this burn to the ground, and I’ll laugh all the way. This is such glorious schadenfreude.

    If the government steps in now, all they’ll do is keep talking about how awesome Astro Boy and One Piece is great. Next thing you know, all the good artists will go underground and we’ll never see them again in the mainstream.

  • man, talk about hypocritical bullshit.

    it’s basically like a bully punching a kid in the face, then asks if they want to be friends only to discover that the bully is demanding 4 days worth of lunch money if this “friendship” is going to work out.

    it’s fucking extortion.

  • oh no…first they ruin that fair and now this?
    as it is im affraid that “unhealty anime” would be removed shortly from prodution, at this rate im affraid this will ruin the whole industry wich ultimate would lead to no good series being produced anymore @@

  • So they are going to quadruple production of anime?

    How much imouto incest and schoolgirl panties can the world consume?

    More Haruhi and K-On would be good. You can keep Milky Holmes though.

    Politicians interfering in a (somewhat) creative and artistic process; what could go wrong?

  • “Comment by Anonymous
    14:49 23/12/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    “it doesn’t deserve to be called “anime” or “manga” if it is produced abroad Japan.”

    Korea wants to talk to you about who draws your animu.

    “Input of other culture will fail the product.”

    Fuck you, Big O was strongly influenced by the ’90’s Batman cartoon and it was awesome. Not to mention Cowboy Bebop (Jazz) or Trigun (cowboys) or god knows how many others.”

    Exactly, there’s to many purist weaboo types on this board just because failures like 4-kids constantly rape anime series doesn’t mean that everything made outside of Japan sucks.

  • some posters seem to think they still live in the cultural isolationist era …. japan and all other countries are already international ….step out side in Tokyo and look at the Christmas decorations….so get over it but Japanese government making content decisions yeah that is a good idea we’ll end up with bland characters and sterile plots cause working in a cube is not how you get inspiration….we don’t want Disneyland manga or anime….

  • of course the exports will quadruple…Hello!
    people with money and a decent income are not pedophiles or outcasts and those two groups are the ones who have tarnished Japan’s image up until the pedophile anime ban.

    if Japan would go back to doing clean anime like in the 1980’s (such as Transformers) than of course their exports are going to increase, I have no clue why the government over there ever let them do all that sick stuff but now that its cleaned up good decent people and families are going to be much more interested in Japan’s products.

    -Samantha