The Independent Music Coalition of Japan (IMCJ) announced on Wednesday (March 21) that it would start activities to support independent musicians and the sale of indie music in Japan.
The group is an amalgamation of three already existing trade bodies, the Independent Records and Musicians Association, the Independent Label Council Japan and the Japan Net Creators Association. Independent labels, aggregators and rights organization have also joined. IMCJ will represent the Japanese independent music community as a national trade association of the Worldwide Independent Network, or WIN, on behalf of existing associations like the Federation of Music Producers of Japan (who previously held WIN membership).
The global digital rights agency Merlin Network has thrown its support behind the group. Merlin opened a Japan office in October of 2016.
IMCJ plans to be the collective voice of the independent music community in Japan. It hopes to enhance the rights of independent labels and producers, network with WIN and trade organizations throughout the world, and encourage the development of a comprehensive database of independent repertoire. It will also assist in exploiting and promoting its members’ content, facilitating professional and tech services, and liaising and lobbying with the government.
Co-Founder and CEO of IMCJ Takashi Kamide told Billboard, “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.’ It is my initial intention to communicate the collective voices from Japan to the global community and vice-versa.”
Alison Wenham, the CEO of WIN, welcomed the new organization into the fold. “I am delighted that our Japanese colleagues have created the first coalition of independent interests to be represented by IMCJ. In a rapidly globalizing market, we are truly excited by the opportunity to work closely with IMCJ, to support their work in developing the Pan Asian region, to help in the creation of new trade associations, and to advance knowledge and understanding of the markets for all independent companies in the world.”