Japanese Government Launches New ‘Japan Channel’ To Bring More Anime To The World
The government of Japan has had the goal of being "a nation built on intellectual property" for more than a decade now, and it's moving to really amp up its cultural exports in 2014. The country is spending nearly $15 million (about 15.5 billion yen) to produce programming including subtitled and dubbed anime, live-action dramas, travel programs and music shows for its new "Japan Channel."
The channel will launch in Thailand in January. In February, it's coming to Indonesia, then it will launch in Cambodia in April. The channel will eventually come to the United States, Europe and Africa, but there are no solid dates for those launches.
According to the newspaper Sankei Shimbun, the whole thing is one big PR move. Japan hasn't been getting a lot of good press lately, particularly in China and South Korea, because of territorial disputes with those countries. Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has made several moves of late that have been highly unpopular among Japan's neighbors (and own population), in that they seem to show support for Japan's imperialistic past.
Back in June, Abe announced that the country's "Cool Japan" initiative, which aims to promote Japanese culture around the world, would get a big injection of funding. It looks like Japan's government believes anime and manga can erase any ill will its political decisions may cause. Only time will tell if it works.