Cool Japan is a gigantic flop thus far according to a recent report by Nikkei, which should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody.
Without a more sophisticated strategy and a more disciplined approach, a fund meant to promote Japanese culture will end up simply squandering Japanese taxpayers’ money.
In a nutshell, Cool Japan is basically Steve Buscemi from ‘30 Rock‘.
Japan seems intent on trying to increase its cultural influence by trying to appeal to teenagers with their rich tradition, but it seems clear to me that they have it backwards. They should use their entertainment industry to familiarize people with Japan, and then from there they’ll naturally branch out to learning about other aspects of the country, especially as they get older. It’s bizarre that they’re not doing this given that the reason we have Weeaboos is that’s basically exactly what organically transpired in the past.
If that sounds like a familiar plan to fans of Korean entertainment, well it should since that’s basically exactly what Korea did to great success. Japan and Japanese entertainment following a similar path would only be appropriate since a lot of the foundation of the Korean entertainment industry can be traced back to the Japanese entertainment industry. It could be like influence-ception or something, where the entertainment sectors of the two countries would just keep homage-ing each other to further success.
Unfortunately, that makes too much sense for Japan to ever try to implement it. They should definitely continue to make it as hard as possible for other markets to access their entertainment sector.