Could NFTs and Cryptocurrencies Help Japan’s ‘Cool Japan’ Strategy?

Japan has consistently been a leader in the tech industry, so it’s a logical step that, given current trends in the space, the Cool Japan movement could incorporate Web3 to bolster its initiative. Bringing Web3 into the mix along with the popular culture aspects of the movement could be a boon to the mission, but this movement has yet to be implemented by the government-led movement.

With much of Web3 still an open question regarding its capabilities and future prospects, it is understandable that the government has yet to combine it with its initiative to bring Japan into the future technologically and bring Japanese culture to other areas of the world. , but this would certainly increase potential in many areas.

The creation of ‘Cool Japan’

If Japanese culture is so popular in other countries, it’s understandable that some don’t understand why the government felt the need to create the Cool Japan initiative. But just because something is well known or popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s thriving.

Ultimately, Cool Japan was created to promote positive attitudes towards Japan, increasing sales of Japanese products worldwide and promoting tourism. The movement’s mission, set out in its proposal, is for Japan, as a country, to provide creative solutions to the world’s challenges. The aim was never simply to promote the country as a cool place to be or go, but also to express that Japan can offer useful insights to the rest of the world.

The television series “Cool Japan” explores Japanese culture from the perspective of foreigners. Source: CR-Nexus

The country is known for its influence on popular culture, as well as its consistent political stability and innovation. But while Japan may have a strong economy, it faces other problems, such as an aging society, loss of communities, and environmental and energy issues.

To fulfill the country’s mission, the Cool Japan strategy consists of three steps: promote domestic growth, connect Japan and other countries, and become a Japan that helps the world. Each stage has its own missions, defined to achieve the overall objective, and there are multiple government agencies involved in promoting the initiative, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and even the Cool Japan Movement Promotion Council.

The movement’s success in the recent past is not fully known, but what is known is that as industries change and times change, so must the strategy, creating more potential for success in the future.

Japanese culture has been popular overseas for decades without slowing down. Everything from anime to manga to traditional Japanese cuisine and clothing has expanded and influenced other areas of the world, especially the United States. The Japanese government noticed this trend and saw its potential. This potential turned into action and gave rise to the “Cool Japan” initiative, which was created to promote Japanese cultural products and technologies globally with the aim of increasing the country’s cultural exports.

The Current State of Web3 in Japan

While Japan may not be leading the charge on Web3, it’s certainly still ahead of many other countries.

Whiplus Wang, head of Japanese crypto conference IVS Crypto, told Cointelegraph about where Japan currently stands with regards to Web3 and whether the Cool Japan movement has plans to incorporate Web3 into its initiative to promote the country.

Recent: Is SEC Action Against BUSD More About Binance Than Stablecoins?

Although Wang said that Cool Japan has nothing to do with Web3, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is making an effort to increase its adoption in Japan.

“At the moment, there are three policies in place. One policy is to tax companies, which has caused many Web3 companies to leave Japan and move to other countries such as Singapore,” said Wang. “I think that will change soon, though. They want to create a better environment for Japan to do this kind of business.”

According to Wang, it seems that Web3 is moving slowly at the government level, but much faster at the community level. The government is still figuring out what Web3 is and what cryptocurrencies and blockchains can do, so movement in that direction is slow.

Widespread use of NFTs

At the community level, however, what Japan is doing with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Web3 is way ahead of the curve. There are some high schools offering courses for students on NFTs and Web3, some decentralized autonomous organizations are educating individuals on the basics of Web3, and there are even special policies that incorporate NFTs.

“In Japan, there is a special policy called Hometown Tax. With this, you can choose which region you want to pay the tax for, it doesn’t have to be the one where you live. When you pay tax to a region, you get a gift back, something that is special to the region, like a good they are known to provide,” explained Wang. “Areas that don’t have anything special are distributing NFTs. Some of them would be coupons for local restaurants or something similar.”

If this policy were changed to allow exchanges with individuals outside of Japan, it could very well be a tactic used by Cool Japan to attract tourists from abroad, just as it currently attracts tourism within Japan.

Much of what Japan is doing with Web3 and cryptocurrencies is done domestically, but there is a special market that sells NFTs abroad – anime.

Anime is an aspect of Japanese culture that has become popular around the world, gaining a large and loyal fan base. Some anime-related companies released NFTs that were immediately bought by overseas customers.

Wang said, “These companies are trying to use NFTs to attract revenue from abroad rather than from Japan, because the fee for people in Japan who have a wallet is really low.”

This is another tactic that the Cool Japan movement could incorporate to increase visibility as a country and as an industry leader, combining the aspects of pop culture that people around the world love with the innovation that can only be found on Web3.

future perspective

For the Cool Japan movement to realistically incorporate technology and Web3, Japan will likely need broader social implementation first. Sagawa Koheia Symbol/NEM project and community promoter, told Cointelegraph that the process can be slow.

“Blockchains empower individuals and creators, especially when compared to Web2. Transparency is expected to ensure the authenticity of the content, so you will know its history, who made it, who bought it, etc.”, said Kohei. “It is still in development and not widely recognized in society. Most people don’t even know what it is. Social implementation will be increased, but it will be little by little.”

Recent: Uniswap DAO debate shows developers still struggling to secure bridges between chains

While those in the industry (or the know-it-alls) may be few and far between, their numbers are certainly growing, and the same can be said for the Web3 knowledge base in Japan. Kohei said that there are several services that currently accept crypto payments, and the government is working on regulations and taxes.

As Japan continues to move forward with its Web3 and cryptographic legislation and the government learns more about what it can do for the country as a whole, it will be interesting to see how companies incorporate Web3 into their business practices. Once it takes off, it could provide the Cool Japan movement with ever more potential for success. But even if the movement itself doesn’t create a relationship with the tech industry, Web3 could still very well allow Japan to achieve the goals it has set for itself.