The Japanese entertainment industry as a whole is in a period of transition. As the average age of the population continues to rise, the majority demographic is moving further away from much of the youth-based content that has driven the industry’s domestic markets in the past. In addition to adapting to the demands of an older audience, industries are also exploring and refining their relationships abroad and developing stable means for overseas distribution. Many are also being proactive in responding to how new technology has transformed traditional methods of distribution and dissemination and in doing so are making their products more accessible to a more global and thus larger sphere of consumers.
This outward-oriented initiative is attractive at the present time and this is based largely on the presence of an international boom of interest in Japanese culture which has grown in recent years. Anime and manga especially have recently enjoyed great popularity and the release of next generation consoles like; Nintendo’s Wii and DS and Sony’s Playstation 3 and PSP have generated worldwide success for the Japanese gaming industry. Japanese films and music are also gaining unprecedented levels of international recognition and attention, however, there are many obstacles to establishing successful international business relations and many of the entertainment industries are still in the process of overcoming these. Language barriers, differences in governmental policies and regulation, and insufficient market information are all significant obstructions, although the industry as a whole is navigating them with increasing success.
Thus, currently, the main challenge to Japanese industries is to adapt its products and distribution methods to meet the changing demographic of an aging domestic population, and to expand and secure its international markets. In doing so, the industry can assure that its uniquely Japanese cultural products continue to excite and challenge both global and domestic audiences.