The industry ministry on Thursday unveiled a project that will select 500 prominent products, foods and tours from around the nation to promote and export the best that Japan has to offer.
Known as "The Wonder 500," the project will soon begin its selection process. About 25 global marketing experts with access to overseas networks will nominate not-yet-exported domestic products that they predict will be a hit overseas. Companies and local organisations can also submit their own applications, which will be accepted from Monday until June 12.
The 500 winning products and services will be announced by early September and highlighted in a special promotional book. Designed to highlight their features and provide background information about their areas of origin, the bilingual Japanese-English book will be distributed to buyers, media and other key players. As part of the project's plan to support related businesses, trade fairs and other events will be organised at home and abroad, with invitations issued to foreign buyers.
Japanese foods that can be easily exported, traditional crafts and experiential tours that educate travelers about local industries and nature are among the products and services being eyed for the list. The project also aims to reinvigorate regional economies, particularly those outside of metropolitan areas, according to ministry officials.