Japan flag

There’s a new trade body for independent musicians and labels in Japan. It’s called the Independent Music Coalition of Japan (IMCJ for short) and is a merger of three existing organisations: the Independent Records and Musicians Association, the Independent Label Council Japan and the Japan Net Creators Association.

Billboard reports that the IMCJ will be part of global trade body WIN, with licensing agency Merlin also backing the new outfit.

“Despite being the second largest recorded music market in the world, during my decades-long career in the music business I have heard two simple messages from the foreign music community: ‘Japanese music market is too difficult to understand’ and ‘there is too little voice from Japan’,” said CEO Takashi Kamide.

“It is my initial intention to communicate the collective voices from Japan to the global community and vice-versa.”

Japan is a fascinating market from an independent perspective: some of its ‘indies’ (i.e. not the subsidiaries of the global majors) are huge corporations in their own right; management companies that control the master rights to their artists’ recordings have branched out to create their own labels; and the late but rapid emergence of music-streaming in Japan is offering plenty of opportunities for smaller companies too.

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