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Japan Research Institute reveals that the anime industry needs government intervention



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Anime is more popular than ever around the world, and yet reports of poor working conditions and very low wages in the anime industry are frequent, and a report from the Japan Research Institute points out that one of the solutions will involve intervention from the government.

The report in question entitled “The current situation and problems of our country’s animation industry” was published by The Japan Research Institute (The Japan Research Institute) and details the rate of worker turnover in the anime industry and questions the extent to which it is legal for the industry to use subcontracted studios. However, the most revealing information comes from industry profits.

According to the report, anime studios earn 6% of total earnings of a project abroad and 16% of domestic sales. These are averages, and considering how low they are, you can see why anime studios often talk about financial difficulties. If anime studios aren’t making much profit from their own projects, you can hardly expect animators to be paid well, which is why the industry has a high turnover.

Of course, the purpose of this report from the Japan Research Institute is to think together about a solution to the industry’s problems. If the medium wants to continue without exploding, the report says the Japanese anime industry should embrace unions, as seen in certain sectors in the United States. This adoption, when combined with insurance reform and a minimum wage increase, would help mitigate turnover. For these three things to happen, studios would need to earn more from their own projects, so the report says these companies deserve at least 30% IP ownershipregardless of the size of the production committee.

As you can imagine, these bold suggestions would require government intervention. Things like insurance reform and minimum wage expansion are complicated issues. Still, the Japan Research Institute is confident that these issues are key to keeping the anime industry healthy. So unless executives want the medium to peak quickly and die young, they’re going to have to have a serious conversation about this report’s dire conclusions.

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