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Ann Reza


Member since September 15, 2013

  • Surge of government-backed investment funds squeezing out private sector

    A number of government-backed funds to invest in private-sector projects such as promoting Japanese pop culture overseas and encouraging the construction of public facilities will begin this fall.

    But some have criticized the ballooning government investments for having an unfair advantage over private sector sources of funding. Others said they may end up being a burden on taxpayers.

    Three new funds will be introduced as early as this fall to bolster the growth strategy in the Abe administration's economic policies, known as "Abenomics." The total amount available to the nine main government-backed funds will exceed 4 trillion yen.

    The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will establish the Cool Japan promotion organization this fall to administer a fund that will facilitate the overseas growth of Japanese anime, music and other entertainment. The goal is to spread Japanese pop culture to the rest of the world.

    South Korea invests eight times as much money as Japan to promote its domestic entertainment industry abroad, and Korean dramas have reached larger audiences in emerging economies than Japanese dramas.

    "It is essential that we financially back the overseas spread of Japanese entertainment content," said Hideaki Ibuki, director of METI's Creative Industries Division.

    The Cool Japan promotion organization's fund will have up to 60 billion yen at its disposal, wh...