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RIAJ - Japanese Music Industry Steps Up Export Drive

RIAJ - Japanese Music Industry Steps Up Export Drive

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TOKYO, JAPAN (Top40 Charts/ IFPI) The Japanese recording industry is working on a new programme to promote local music to the international market. The development comes as the Japanese government is increasingly highlighting the importance of the creative industries in providing future jobs, growth and tax revenues.

RIAJ, which represents the recording industry in Japan, has formed an Overseas Market Expansion Committee that is dedicated to promoting local music worldwide. The committee works to coordinate promotional opportunities and activities to combat piracy, as well as to undertake research into overseas markets.

A portal website, Japan Music Entertainment, has been re-launched to showcase the best in local repertoire. The site, which is available in Chinese and English, highlights the latest developments in the Japanese music scene and is being operated as a strong promotional arm

under the advisory from the RIAJ Overseas Market Expansion Committee. It provides the latest chart news, details of live tours and explains the background of some of the country's biggest recording stars. The site aims to capitalise on the growing popularity of Japanese music in East Asia as well as Europe and the US, introducing fans to a wide range of artists.

CoFesta, the Japan International Contents Festival, is now in its fourth year of operation. It is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and seeks to promote Japanese music, movies and games. The industry has seen a sharp increase in interest from buyers outside of Asia in recent months. Through the Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM), one of a series of entertainment content trade shows coordinated under CoFesta, Japanese record companies have been involved in business talks since its inception and the process has enabled them to develop links with international distributors and overseas record companies that help them to reach music fans around the world.

One of important roles of RIAJ in international distribution of Japanese music is a certificate issuing body in mainland China. Under the authorisation by the National Copyright Agency of China (NCAC), RIAJ representative office in Beijing has been running an agency to verify and certify sound recording rights for legitimate distribution of Japanese music CD, vinyl and music cassettes in mainland China, which procedure Chinese regulations require to follow to gain approval for distribution.

Hideo Abe, head of Overseas market group, RIAJ, says: "Japanese music is increasingly popular in markets all over the world. The recording industry wants to tap into this widespread appeal and drive music exports. Japan is the second largest recorded music market in the world, but has historically not come close to matching the export levels of the US. We hope this new export drive will enable us to punch our weight in the global marketplace."

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