Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Abe Wants To Promote Japanese Culture Abroad
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed a government panel Monday to come up with specific ways to disseminate Japanese culture overseas as part of his strategy for reviving the nation's economy.
The move is also part of Abe's foreign policy drive to raise Japan's presence by projecting more of its "soft power" abroad, officials say.
"Japan has a tremendous potential" to spread its culture overseas, Abe told the first meeting of the panel. "If people think Japan has marvelous traditions and culture, it will inspire a sense of respect for Japan."
The panel, including Yasushi Akimoto, producer of the female pop group AKB48, and fashion designer Junko Koshino, aims to draw up proposals by the end of April, the officials said.
The Abe administration positions cultural industries as one of the pillars of the nation's growth strategy. It hopes raising interest in the country's music, cuisine and animation, among other things, will attract more tourists and boost consumption of Japanese food.
The government is poised to submit a bill in the current Diet session for creating a 50 billion yen fund to finance promotional activities under the "Cool Japan" initiative.
(The Nikkei, March 5 morning edition)