The film industry in Japan and Canada

According to 2004 statistics, local films in Japan took in an estimated 35 % of the total revenue. By contrast the same year, Canadian feature films earned 4.3 % in Canada. This figure shows the big difference between Canada and Japan.

In Japan, film, animation, television, and games are classified as “content industry” and is fast becoming the most noteworthy industry in Japan. The first economic reason is the strength of the content industry itself. The second reason is the penetration of broadband network, including the ADSL, the FTTH, and the cable Internet access.

Japan is the second largest country in the video production market, including film and television programs, after the United States. Japanese film and television programs are very popular in the domestic market. In 2001, the number of broadband users was only 856 thousand, but increased to 17 million in 2004. Video distribution through broadband networks is a promising business in near future.

In Japan, a public sector that supports the content industry only emerged at the end of 2004, with a new organization was launched by the film, broadcasting, and game industries in Japan, called the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO).

Compared to Japan, Canada has a long historical experience of the film policy. In Japan, however, Canadian films are not so popular. According to the 2004 data from the Association of Foreign Film Import and Distribution, only one film was imported from Canada, which was a documentary program produced by the National Film Board in Canada. Furthermore, Canadian and the U.S. films are classified as the same regional category of film, “North America films,” in Japan. Many Japanese people think that a “North America film” means a Hollywood film. Yet, Vancouver and Toronto are indeed famous as Hollywood film location sites. It is one of the reasons why the Canadian film policy is chosen as a case in this article.

The paper continues to describe and discuss the structure of film policy in Japan and Canada in depth and evaluates the Canadian Film Policy from the Japanese Perspectives. To read full paper, please click on the link below.

Title of paper: The Development of Film Policy in Canada and Japan -- From Cultural to Economic

Author: Minoru SUGAYA
Minoru Sugaya is Professor at the Institute of Media and Communications Research, Keio University.

Published: 10 Oct 2006


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Websites: Keio Communication Review No. 28, 2006


Keio Communication Review No. 28, 2006