Japan’s Ministry of Finance revealed at a subcommittee meeting on Monday that it may have to restructure or abolish Cool Japan Fund, the public-private company that the Japanese government employs to fund projects as part of its “Cool Japan” program, if it does not improve its business performance. As of the end of fiscal year 2021, Cool Japan Fund had a debt of 30.9 billion yen (about US$227.1 million).

The organization’s cumulative debt at the end of fiscal year 2020 was 23.1 billion yen (about US$169.7 million). The company announced an improvement plan in May 2021 to keep the deficit at 25.7 billion yen (about US$188.8 million). However, the debt still expanded.

The subcommittee considered that profits may improve with the recovering economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization plans to put together a final plan by fall.

Cool Japan Fund and Sentai Filmworks CEO John Ledford have invested in Sentai Holdings, LLC — the parent company of Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE, and Anime Network.

Cool Japan” is a program supported by the Japanese government and various companies that promotes modern Japanese culture such as anime and manga abroad. The program revolves around the premise that Japan’s strength in business and international affairs lies in anime, manga, films, fashion, and other fields of Japanese arts and entertainment content.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Crunchyroll (Daryl Harding)