During the Tokyo Game Show in 2008, Square Enix president and Computer Entertainment Software Association chairman Yoichi Wada delivered a keynote emphasizing the need for Japanese game developers to collaborate with each other, and share technology and ideas in order to remain relevant and competitive in today’s games industry.
However, the tendency of Japanese companies to be especially secretive, follow traditional practices such as lifelong employment, and focus on short-term earnings and dividends rather than long-term growth is not one that is limited to the games industry alone. Rather, it is part of a larger issue across the country, arising from management habits and other factors.
To help combat this, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry set up the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan in July 2009 to encourage Japanese companies to collaborate with one another more efficiently. The INCJ acts as a national private-equity fund whose purpose is to promote the sharing of technology and innovation, and provide management and support beyond existing organizational setups.
According to a report from earlier in the week on Japanese tabloid website Nikkei.com, the INCJ are providing funding toward an initiative to help promote and distribute Japanese media such as movies, anime and music in markets overseas. The aim of the initiative, with a fund of 10 billion yen, is to increase foreign revenue of Japanese media from 2008’s 1 trillion yen to 2.5 trillion yen, by 2020.
The initiative is being spearheaded by Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. Prime Minister Hatoyama has been vocal in the past about the importance of Japan establishing itself as a global leader in animation, and his personal liking for Hayao Miyazaki’s films.