Japan preps new tax incentive scheme to entice international TV & film productions

Tokyo Vice

Japan is expanding its tax incentive scheme as it looks to attract international TV and film productions to the country.

A pilot scheme had been in operation in Japan since 2019 that offered rebates of up to 20% on applicable costs, with shows such as HBO Max and BBC drama Tokyo Vice, and Apple TV+’s upcoming comedy Sunny, benefitting.

The new initiative will look to build on that success, with local productions costs in excess of JPY500m ($3.6m) and direct production costs greater than JPY200m ($1.4m) qualifying for a rebate, according to Screen International, which broke the news.

Details of the level of funding are yet to be revealed, the UK film title added, but further information is expected in July when applications will be opened.

As per the pilot scheme, projects to be distributed in more than ten countries and whose local production costs exceed JPY200m will also be eligible.

Japan is a prolific producer of TV and film content domestically, but in recent years has faced growing competition on the international front from regional rivals such as South Korea.

Japanese trade body, the Visual Industry Promotion Organisation (VIPO), is working on the scheme with the Japan Film Commission (JFC) on behalf of the government, with the scheme being touted during the Cannes Film Market, which runs until 24 May.

Tax incentive schemes have become even more important for producers over the past year as streamers trim spending, with countries such as Spain – and regions within it – offering rebates of up to 60% to entice international shows.

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