Japan launches new incentive program to lure international productions

Applications to the fund open this month (September).

By Gabriella Geisinger 11 Sep 2023

Japan launches new incentive program to lure international productions
Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe in Tokyo Vice; Cr: BBC/HBO Max/James Lisle

Japan has announced plans to increase its film incentive program.

The programme is run by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade Industry and will be operated by the Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO) and coordinated by the Japan Film Commission (JFC).

It will fund up to one half of the qualifying Japanese spend of international productions. There is a cap of JPY¥1 billion (£5.5million). 

Qualifying spend includes direct expenses related to film production in Japan, including payments to Japanese corporations, individuals, local governments and public organizations. However, some costs are not included in qualifying spend, such as the cost of location scouting in Japan. 

Eligible productions include "large-scale overseas TV and film projects shot on location in Japan". A committee will decide the amount of funding any given production receivers, and will take into account "the application content and number of applicants".

A Japanese production company must submit the application which must fulfil one of the two following requirements:

  • Direct production costs in Japan exceed JPY500M (£2.72m) OR total production costs exceed JPY1BN (£5.5m) and direct production costs in Japan exceed JPY200M (£1.09m).
  • Projects are scheduled to be released, screened, broadcast or distributed in more than ten countries, and their direct production costs in Japan exceed JPY200M (£1.09m).

Projects that don’t fulfil these requirements will still be considered if they "greatly benefit the Japanese economy and the domestic film industry."

In order to eligible, projects me also benefit the Japanese production industry through local employment or use of local studios; shot in Japan; promotion of the location where filming took place; and promotion of Japanese works globally.

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