Japan to make Tokyo more film-friendly
Japan reportedly has plans to make it easier for international producers to film in capital Tokyo and major landmarks.
Authorities want filmmakers to be able to close highways more easily and shoot at iconic locations like the ‘scramble’ crossing in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Japan has limited success attracting Hollywood shoots as there’s no national filming incentive and the permitting process can be challenging.
James Mangold’s 2013 X-Men movie The Wolverine was largely set in Japan but for the most part used Sydney locations as stand-ins.
More recently, Jason Zada’s supernatural thriller The Forest doubled rural Serbia for Japan’s Aokigahara forest, a notorious suicide spot at the base of Mount Fuji. Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, also set in the Aokigahara, filmed mostly in Massachusetts.
Hollywood is starting to show more interest in western Pacific Rim locations generally. Marvel shot key action sequences for Avengers: Age of Ultron in Korean capital Seoul and recently chose Busan for scenes in Black Panther.
Reducing bureaucracy in Tokyo is likely to be welcomed internationally, but a competitive Japanese incentive may be needed to truly boost the country’s global production profile.
For more on filming in Japan see our production guide.
Image: iStock.com/Nikada and ooyoo.