Japan's foreign trade of media and cultural products in the age of globalization: Factors, characteristics, and implications
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This study examined factors, characteristics, and implications of Japan's foreign trade of three media and cultural products (theatrical films, music recording media, and television programs) and considered the situation of global interrelatedness in the media and cultural product trade. The presence of foreign films in Japan (1946 through 2002) was in a significantly increasing trend and the number of these films claimed more than one half of the Japanese market for every year since 1987. The export value of Japanese films (1981 through 2001) was also in a significant increasing trend despite the stronger Japanese yen. The import and export number and value of music recording media (1959 through 2002) was also in a significant increasing trend and this trade increased after the first reports of exportation and importation of music CDs in 1987 and 1988 respectively. The number of foreign programs broadcast in Japan (1953 through 1990) was in a significant increasing trend in the early period of the Japanese television industry because of the shortage of domestic productions and the inception of satellite broadcasting due to the increased broadcasting hours. The number of foreign programs was not in an increasing trend in the 1970s and the 1980s due to improved domestic program production. Meanwhile, the import value of foreign programs was neither in an increasing nor decreasing trend (1991 through 1995), but the export value of Japanese programs was in a significant increasing trend (1991 through 1995) despite the stronger Japanese yen. The study discerned the growth of Japan's interrelatedness with foreign countries through this trade. However, this interrelatedness was disproportional, with larger importation than exportation. Despite this disproportional characteristic, Japan has increased its exportation of media and cultural products, as is presumably implied by the increase in the popularity of these products. The study also acknowledged that growth in foreign trade of media and cultural products furnishes less homogeneity at a national level because of the diversification of characteristics within a society brought by the inflowing foreign cultures, but more homogeneity at a global level because of the increase of shared information about characteristics among societies.