At its recent subcommittee meeting, Japan’s Ministry of Finance said that it would consider abolishing the Cool Japan Fund as it had amassed a debt of 30.9 billion yen (~ USD 228.9 million) at the end of fiscal year 2021.
The number rose from the 23.1 billion yen (~USD 171.1 million) debt which the fund was in, at the end of fiscal year 2020.
The ministry will monitor the fund’s situation for the next few months and see if there is a chance of growth for the fund. If the situation doesn’t improve, the fund will undergo restructuring, which might also see it getting scrapped.
The Ministry of Finance had approved a plan last year to limit Cool Japan Fund’s debt to 25.7 billion yen (~ USD 228.9 million) for FY 2021.
However, with the woes of the pandemic seeming like a thing of the past, some members within the ministry believe that the companies which the Cool Japan Fund invested in might see a turnaround in their fortunes.
The Cool Japan Fund, which started in 2013, is a public-private fund investing in Japanese cultural initiatives abroad, especially anime and manga initiatives around the world, as part of the Cool Japan program. At one point, the organization was a major shareholder in Sentai Holdings, LLC, the parent company of HIDIVE and Sentai Filmworks.
The Japanese government has pumped in over 106.6 billion yen (~ USD 789.6 million) in the Cool Japan Fund since its inception.
Cool Japan is a program supported by the Japanese government and various companies to promote Japan to the world, based on the idea that Japan’s international strength stems from anime, manga and other fields of Japanese culture.