Sample Essay

Words 2,130

Otmazgin lays out three factors that provided the basis for Japanese cultural penetration of  East Asian and North-East Asian countries. First was the intra-region trade that was a ‘major positive influence’ on the economy of the region. Secondly the cheap labor market of the East Asian and North-East Asian countries persuaded Japanese industrial giants to shift their factories to those countries.

Thirdly the movement of people; Japanese tourists and businessmen visiting other Asian countries and students from other Asian countries studying in Japanese educational institutions offered a convenient vector for the spread of Japanese culture. Otmazgin says that when the Japanese media companies entered the East Asian markets, they had already tried their luck in other countries. He finds that despite the popularity of Japanese cultural products, in Chinese language speaking regions, people still prefer Chinese cultural products. However the popularity of Japanese media has contributed to a positive image of Japan in the minds of the people of former Japanese colonies. This is true everywhere, even in South Korea where people still have a negative image of the Japanese government this does not stop them from the consumption of Japanese cultural products.

Otmazgin claims that the popularity of Japanese cultural products is not seen as a facet of Japanese imperialism, how can this claim be reconciled with the fact that some governments imposed restrictions on the importation of Japanese cultural products in the past and some still do? East-Asian Governments’ acceptance of the importation of Japanese cultural products coincides with the rise of liberal political opinion in those countries, in the future, if there is a return to the Authoritarianism of the past, it is quite likely that the Japanese government’s promotion of their country as the cultural capital of Asia will be seen as proof of their imperialist intentions.

(Brennan & Krohmer, 2005)

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