Establishment of a New Company for Global Development of Japanese Content

Jun. 27, 2024
Marubeni Corporation
Marubeni Forest LinX Corporation
Shogakukan Inc.

Shogakukan Inc. (hereinafter, “Shogakukan”), Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”), and Marubeni Forest LinX Corporation (hereinafter, “Forest LinX”) have established a new company, as part of a joint venture for the global development of Japanese manga and anime content (hereinafter, the “Project”). 

Overseas sales of Japanese content were estimated in 2022 to be equivalent to 4.7 trillion yen. The popularity of Japanese manga and anime is growing rapidly to a backdrop of rising demand for stay-at-home stocks occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as aggressive distribution by major overseas distributors, with the market expanding to encompass a variety of merchandise, including games. The government has set a goal of increasing the size of the overseas market for Japanese content to 20 trillion yen by 2033, positioning this as the “New Cool Japan Strategy*”.

Meanwhile, the sales channels for such Japanese content are not well established, especially in overseas markets. Lack of direct distribution networks and retail outlets means that attractive content cannot be delivered to fans around the world, resulting in lost opportunities. This situation has led to an increase in pirated products, highlighting the need for a system that ensures the distribution of legitimate goods.

The Project aims to offer a breakthrough solution to this situation thereby contributing to maximizing the value of Japanese content by connecting authors with fans around the world. Specifically, the Project will deliver Japanese content in a variety of domains, including the development of goods using manga and anime content, sales at retail outlets, and the establishment of an overseas sales distribution network, as well as digital content utilizing the latest technology.

Marubeni and Forest LinX will promote the overseas expansion of the Japanese content industry by establishing retail outlets and distribution networks through their domestic and international networks.

Shogakukan will meanwhile leverage its network of contacts in the publishing and animation industries to encourage participation in the Project and contribute to the further development of the Japanese content industry.

*Quoted in “New Cool Japan Strategy,” Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters, Prime Minister's Office, June 4, 2024.

Marubeni Overview
Company name: Marubeni Corporation 
Head office: 4-2, Otemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Established: December 1949
Representative: Masumi Kakinoki
Main business: Diversified business activities including import/export (including foreign transactions) and domestic transactions, various service operations, domestic and foreign business investment, and resource development through domestic and international networks
Website: https://www.marubeni.com/en/
Forest LinX Overview 
Company name: Marubeni Forest LinX Corporation
Head office: 4-2, Otemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Established: October 1953
Representative: Koichi Mashino
Main business: Sales of paper, paperboard, chemical products, etc.
Shareholders: Marubeni (100%)
Website: https://www.marubeni-flx.com/en/
Shogakukan Overview
Company name: Shogakukan Inc.
Head office: 2-3-1 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Established: August 1922
Representative: Nobuhiro Oga
Main business: General publishing company promoting new businesses beyond traditional publishing such as digitization and visualization of works, character business, and event and production business.
Website: https://www.shogakukan.co.jp/en/company