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Japan to amp up TV Content Exports

Public-private partnership to promote sales, address bottlenecks

TOKYO — Six leading Japanese broadcasters, including pubcaster NHK and five commercial networks, are to team with government to launch a body promoting Japanese TV programming abroad, according to local news sources.

The model is South Korea, where the private and public sectors have successfully linked to sell Korean shows overseas.

According to the Jiji news agency, the new org, provisionally called Broadcast Contents Overseas Development Promotion Organization (Hoso Contents Kaigai Tenkai Sokushin Kiko), will launch in August.

Its aim is within five years to triple foreign sales of Japanese shows from their current level of $63 million. That would put them on a rough par with Korean TV content export revenues. The focus will be the Asian market, where millions of fans currently watch Japanese TV shows, but revenues for their creators and distributors are as yet relatively small.

Among the new body’s tasks will be the promotion of the overseas broadcasts of Japanese TV shows and the setting up of a system to resolve the often-thorny copyright issues that slow the distribution of Japanese content abroad.

Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is spearheading the new initiative as part of the government’s overall economic growth plan, unveiled in June, using funds appropriated from the 2014 budget. In addition to NHK and the five networks, other government bodies and the Sumitomo trading house will also be involved. Sumitomo advisor Motoyuki Oka is expected to lead the org.

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