Who lives in a Pineapple under the Sea of Japan…?

From Inside Asia I learn that China has created regulations to increase the number of domestic cartoons shown in China. This is a fairly standard bit of cultural protectionism, and Canada and France have done similar things. What I find interesting is Inside Asia leads with a picture of the Simpsons. This rule clearly is protectionist, but it is protecting China against Japan, not Sponge Bob. Japan is of course the world-wide cartoon king, and they are taking over the minds of Chinese children just as they are American children and Swedish children. Of course the American cartoon industry is also being damaged by Japanese competition, but there are not a lot of calls for protectionism here. I suspect that part of the reason is that Americans want to protect jobs in steel mills and stuff like that. The Chinese government seems to fairly hip to the role of animation and exporting cool in Japanese soft power. Like some of the Chinese interviewed for the article, I am not sure that protectionism will really lead to improvement in the Chinese product. What is the Chinese counterpart to Naruto? Even more to the point, will Japanese producers start making more Pan-Asian type stuff that can be accepted everywhere? Or are they doing so already?


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