Tokyo: Japan's Film and TV Industries Contribute $126 Billion to Economy

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters'

An in-depth report on the industry's overall economic impact was released by the Japan MPA at a seminar at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Film and television production and distribution contributed $125.8 billion (13.7 trillion yen) to the Japanese economy in 2018 in both direct and indirect impact, according to a report released by the Japan and International MPA.

The in-depth 73-page report by the Mitsubishi Research Institute was announced at an MPA seminar during the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF).

The film production and distribution sectors added $5.67 billion (616 billion yen) to the economy, while TV production and distribution boosted output by $15.4 billion (1.67 trillion yen).

For comparison, Japan's annual box office takings are approximately $2 billion. The biggest box office release in 2018 was Bohemian Rhapsody with around $115 million, though it took a large chunk of that in 2019.

Total employment in the industries, including distribution, exhibition, broadcasting and streaming, was more than 520,000 people, with TV broadcasting accounting for more than 315,000 jobs.

Total tax revenue, including indirect impact, amounted to $12.55 billion (1.37 trillion yen)

The overall impact, including knock-on effects from spending and employment, of the industries represented 1.25 percent of Japan's $5.05 trillion (550 trillion yen) annual GDP.

At the seminar, which was attended by Japanese lawmakers, the MPA warned of the danger of online piracy and the damage it was doing to the creative industries. According to a separate piracy report, more than 40 million hours of pirated content are viewed every month in Japan.

"Copyright infringement harms creators and the Japanese economy. Today's piracy study presents a sobering reminder that a flourishing creative ecosystem cannot be taken for granted and must be nurtured and protected. Site blocking has proven to be a necessary tool in the toolbox to reduce infringement and increase adoption of legal services," said Michael Schlesinger, Asia Pacific MPA regional legal counsel.