Labels body the Recording Industry Assn. of Japan (RIAJ) has launched English and Chinese Web sites to promote Japanese music internationally.

The Web sites were jointly developed with industry groups such as the Visual Industry Promotion Organization and the Foundation for Promotion of Music Industry and Culture (PROMIC). Local music-trade magazine Oricon supplies content such as music news, the weekly single and album charts, information on new releases and interviews.

The RIAJ says that in the future it hopes to provide more content, make the sites interactive and launch similar sites in more languages.

Launching the Web sites is part of the RIAJ's ongoing efforts to revive the Japanese biz. The association says that although the world's second-biggest music market has shown a slight uptrend in the last three years thanks to strong digital-sales growth, it's not optimistic about the future course of the market amid the industry's rapidly changing business environment.

Key points of the RIAJ's market-revival strategy include:
- Clamping down on unauthorized music distribution in cooperation with mobile carriers and copyright groups, as well as identifying illegal online music distributors and working with ISPs to shut them down.
- Continuing its campaign to have the Copyright Law revised to outlaw downloading of music and videos from rogue Web sites, as well as to have music copyrights remain valid until at least 70 years (now 50 years) after the deaths of copyright holders.
- Boosting its efforts to promote Japanese music internationally through events such as the Tokyo Asia Music Market, which takes place Oct. 14-17.

The trade body is also committed to working with other industry groups, such as cable-TV operators, to raise secondary-use fees.