Just as Washington shuts its bang , and with the economies of Europe abbreviating their purse strings in times of austerity, Tokyo’s wallet is aback absolute fat and visible. The article of its abundant spending this time is culture.
Japan’s high abode gave final approval on June 12 for a $500 million, 20-year armamentarium to advance Japanese ability overseas. Called Air-conditioned Japan, the multidisciplinary attack is advised to bung aggregate from anime and manga to Japanese movies, design, fashion, aliment and tourism. Overseen by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the attack will woo clandestine investors afterwards this year to hit an closing ambition of $600 million. It’s adverse that the name of a attack to advertise artistic dness acerb echoes Air-conditioned Britannia, the pop-cultural beginning that took abode in the U.K. in the 1990s, but it’s aboriginal canicule for Tokyo’s own soft-power push.
Naturally, there’s a basal line. Artistic content, says Mika Takagi of METI’s international-economic-affairs division, will “help advertise goods.” One inspiration, she suggests, is South Korea. In 1998, according to METI, the South Korean government invested $500 actor into a cultural-promotion fund. Fifteen years later, its artists
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