JETRO to help companies export made-in-Japan refined crafts online
Japan Today -- Aug 03
A Japanese government-linked organization will help local companies export made-in-Japan refined crafts including stationery, furniture and accessories through online business meetings with overseas buyers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japan External Trade Organization has picked 519 items by 121 producers for this year's Takumi Next project aimed at supporting Japanese craftsmen's forays into markets abroad. Takumi means artisan in Japanese.

JETRO has established an online system by which crafts producers can access buyers and seek advice from experts in reaching out to overseas markets. It will also create video clips to promote the products on social media such as Instagram.

The items include textiles, wood crafts, glassware, leather goods, metalwork, ceramics and washi paper products. The organization will launch online sales negotiations this month with 17 e-commerce buyers from such countries and regions as France, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

After deals are reached, the Japanese products are expected to be sold via the e-commerce buyers' websites and pop-up stores, according to JETRO.

This year, around 180 crafts producers applied for the project and the 121 companies from 36 prefectures whose items fit the image of "Japan luxury" were selected, according to JETRO.

Among the 519 items picked for this year's project is a "happi" coat with designs including Mt Fuji produced by Surprise Creative Ltd. The traditional coats are now occasionally worn at festivals.

News source: Japan Today
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