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2022 Spotlight on Japan – Roadmap to the Japanese Music Industry

The Embassy of Canada in Japan will present a webinar on Japan in February 2022 – check back for more details.

For your immediate reference, here is a snapshot on the Japanese music market.

Why Japan ?

It is the world’s second largest music market.

Japan’s music market is worth $3 billion – roughly six and a half times the value of the Canadian music market (US$465.8 million). This is phenomenal considering the island country is some 26 times smaller than Canada.

More than two-thirds of the country’s annual revenue from recorded music still stems from physical formats (CDs and vinyl). The older generation is more comfortable with CD’s and still buy vinyl, while many younger Japanese who represent the largest music-spending group, have never used a CD before. Tower Records has more than 80 stores in Japan. It has seen a serious hit to sales since the start of the pandemic as music fans avoided shops.

7th Most Connected Country in the World

With 90 percent of Japanese connected to the internet, it is the world’s 7th most connected country, the 4th largest market for e-commerce, and the #1 market by share of mobile e-commerce.  With such a high ratio of internet connections, it is no surprise the country’s streaming trade revenues in 2020 were up by a third to more than $480 million, making Japan the world’s fifth biggest music market in streaming-only terms.

Population of Tokyo is equal to all of Canada

Japan is an affluent, westernized society with a population of about 127 million people, three times greater than Canada.

The population of Tokyo alone is equivalent to the population of all of Canada (about 38 million.) This means that if the entire city of Tokyo embraces your music, it is similar in scope to the whole of Canada.

Opportunities for Canada in Japan’s Music Market

Every year, Japan accounts for millions of dollars in music revenues for many artists/bands and record labels from around the world.  With over a billion Yen spent on international music every year, Japan is a great revenue opportunity for Canadian artists and music companies. In 2020, about 30% of all catalogued audio recordings (i.e., CDs) in Japan were international. Digital music sales for international music are now outpacing sales of CD’s in Japan.

The trend is to listen to music on smartphones via streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, AWA, Line Music, kkbox, etc.

One of the biggest streaming platforms and one most responsible for driving the growth is Line Music, Japan’s biggest domestic streaming service and a joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, Avex and Line. As of March 2021, Line has up to 13 million monthly active users.

Line Music is a subsidiary of Line, a social media giant that owns the biggest messaging app in Japan. The Line messaging service has 84 million users in Japan, meaning that almost the entire Japanese population uses it. With most of the Japanese population using the Line messaging service, Line is able to directly tap into this user base at any time. This is something other subscription services are definitely not able to do. In addition to this, Line Music also lets users set their favorite songs as a ringtone for Line app calls or music videos as their profile backgrounds.

Japanese streaming platforms, like LINE Music, AWA and RecoChoku, offer a strong alternative for content aimed specifically at J-pop fans

Worldwide, Japan is ranked #2 overall, #1 for Physical, #5 for Streaming, #2 for Other Digital formats, #5 for Performance Rights and #2 for Synch.


Avex Group is the biggest local company in the entertainment industry, accounting for more than $1.5 billion in sales and engaged in various areas of the entertainment industry. The multinational distributors have bases in Japan, with Japanese entertainment conglomerates such as Avex or JVC Kenwood (Victor Entertainment) and a plethora of Independent labels such as Pony Canyon or King Records.



Recording Industry Association of Japan

The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) was founded in 1942 as an organization representing Japanese music recording industry. Since that time, RIAJ has been playing a leading role in the development and expansion of Japanese music culture. RIAJ is active in operations to promote recordings and create new demand; to enhance protection of copyright and neighboring rights; to ensure proper use of recordings; to conduct surveys, gather documentary information, and publish materials concerning records and the recording industry; and other activities aimed at maintaining the strength and integrity of the industry. At the same time, as a designated society of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, RIAJ is responsible for collection and distribution of secondary use fees of commercial recordings from broadcasters, and remuneration from CD rental shops.

Download the latest market report from RIAJ here: Statistics Trends RIAJ Yearbook 2021


Federation of Music Producers Japan

The FMPJ proudly represents the largest number of member companies and artists (over 10,000 of them) and around 230 ‘productions’ as member companies – who entrust us with their rights. These include world-renowned performers such as Ryuichi Sakamoto as well as other emerging J-pop or J-rock acts. Through the CPRA (Center for Performers’ Rights Administration), in whose operation FMPJ participates, it receives royalties due under neighbouring rights (royalties for rental phonograms, secondary-use fees for commercial phonograms, compensation for private sound recordings, compensation for private visual recordings and secondary-use fees for broadcasts) and distributes them to each ‘production’. In addition, through ARMA (Audiovisual Rights Management Association) that also participates in the operation had started dealing the fees from the piped-in music.

In Japan, there are two associations of which ‘productions’ can become members, and one of them is the FMPJ. There is also an association called JASRAC (the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers), which manages music copyrights.

Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC)

JASRAC was established in 1939, and as the sole copyright administration organization in Japan, held exclusive responsibility for administering the copyrights of the majority of music used domestically, and provided a system whereby permission for the use of music could be easily obtained.  However, in October 2001, the Law on Management Business of Copyright and Neighboring Rights came into force in response to revolutionary changes in information technology stemming from advances in digitization and networking capabilities as well as changes in the needs of copyright owners.  This law laid out an environment which permitted other organizations to enter the business of music copyright administration.  To adapt to the new law, the trust contract which is concluded in order for copyright owners to entrust their copyrights to JASRAC was revised.  Whereas, prior to the revision, copyright owners were required to entrust all of their music copyrights with JASRAC, it is now possible for copyright owners to choose the extent of rights to be entrusted with JASRAC and copyright owners may entrust certain portions of their rights such as the rights for use on the Internet, with another organization, or they may choose to administer those rights by themselves.

Music Publishers Association of Japan

First established in September 1973, the association represents 340 music publishers including almost all major music publishers and is the only organization that represents the Japanese music publishing industry. In addition, many of the members are copyright holders, record makers (master makers), and organizations that represent master makers.

MPA’s businesses can be broadly divided into four businesses: international business, distribution business, business information business, and other businesses. We distribute loan fees (including loan usage fees), secondary broadcasting usage fees (including a certain range of reproduction usage fees), and private copying levy compensation to members. MPA regularly holds lectures and seminars on music copyright and related information. All Japan Concert & Live Entertainment Promoters Conference (A.C.P.C.)

Founded in 1988, the association represents 68 members and 101 associate members from concert promoters and live music industry. Members are responsible for some 31,000 live concerts and festivals all over Japan. Its mandate is to advance the development of the live Japanese concert industry through analysis, industry strategy and development, education and advocacy.

Entertainment Committee for Stadium Arena (ECSA)

We will conduct research and proposals to improve the value of the “stadium arena”. We aim to revitalize the region and create a new culture from the “stadium arena” and contributes to the development of entertainment human resources.


Co-Festa Japan International Contents Festival

CoFesta, the Japan International Contents Festival, is a project designed to enhance the promotional capabilities of events related to Japan’s distinctive gaming, anime, manga, characters, broadcasting, music, movies, and other content industries, as well as events in content-related industries such as fashion and design, so that these events can more effectively reach international audiences.

Japan Anime Music La (JAM)

Japan Anime Music Lab. is an online database created to connect international anime music professionals and media with official rights holders of Japanese anime music and artists. Information and contents provided on the website comes from official sources and international music professionals may register online, free of charge, to use features to reach rights holders directly. Japan Anime Music. Lab. is designed and run by JAPAN MUSIC CULTURE EXPORT (JMCE), a Japanese general incorporated foundation established in 1993 to promote the international spread of Japanese music culture and to support the Japanese music industry going global.

Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM)

TIMM is the one and only music market in Japan that offers Japanese music a platform for overseas expansion and international exchange in the rapidly changing global music industry. The event features Marketplace/Business Matching with overseas buyers from 30+countries, Business Seminars on the latest trends in the music industry designed for expanding international business opportunities, and the Live Music Showcase for international artists and companies to showcase and participate in the exhibits. Sponsored by Japan Music Culture Export (JMCE), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; and Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO)


All Japan Concert & Live Entertainment Promoter’s Conference
ACPC is an association of over 260 concert promoters and related business. Established in 1990, ACPC’s purpose is to support the development of Japanese show business through research (Welfare, Safety & Security, city, scalping, Night time economy promotion, Assessment of economic effect from outdoor music festivals, Establishment of Live/Entertainment Lab Dept.(Since 2016); Issue (Human resources, Copyright, Working Conditions); Education & Career support; Public and Community Relations; Insurance; Advocacy; Business Development; Liaison with other domestic/international music bodies.



Canadian artists performing paid shows in Japan will need a Working Visa for Entertainer

Canadians wanting to work in Japan will require Working Visa for Entertainer. You need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from your prospective employer and approved by the Bureau of Immigration. You can apply for a period of 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, or 15 days. Other travel documents include a valid Passport, One photograph.

Link to Visa Application:

Canadians visiting Japan do not need a travel visa

Citizens of 68 countries coming to Japan for tourism purposes including Canada don’t require a visa and will be granted permission for short-term stay upon arrival. You are able to travel in Japan for up to 90 days without a visa. Japanese law requires that all short-term foreign visitors must have proof of onward travel (departure) from Japan. Please see the following for exemptions, rules & conditions.

Contact your nearest Japanese Embassy for more information.


There were 31,889 concerts attended by 49,540 million in Japan in 2020.



Fuji Rock Festival ’22 July 29-31

Naeba Ski Resort

Fuji Rock is the biggest annual music festival in the country, with between 100,000 and 150,000 people attending performances by more than 200 artists from around the world across seven main stages. Held in a stunning ski resort about a 90-minute train ride from Tokyo, it has been running since 1997 and the international crowd has been steadily increasing over the years. Held mostly outdoors (with only one indoor stage) you must be well prepared for rain and shine, as you never know which way it will go.

Summer Sonic


Summer Sonic Festival was founded in 2000 in Japan, with a focus on major national and international acts. As a world-famous music event, Summer Sonic is so massive that it’s held in both Osaka and Tokyo during one weekend in mid-August. It works by having half the artist lineup in Osaka while the other half plays at Tokyo. On day two, the performers swap venues. You need to get two-day tickets in one city to watch them all. The line-up contains many Japanese rock musicians from both major and indie record companies, and also international acts. Whether you’re looking for the biggest bands in rock music or amazing indie and psychedelic acts, this concert has got them covered.

It also operates the festival Sonicmania, with an EDM focus, since 2011. The festival was expanded to include a location in Shanghai (China.)

Tokyo Jazz Festival

May 20-22, 2022

Founded in 2002, Tokyo Jazz Festival is one of the biggest and most important music festivals in Asia, as well as the biggest jazz festival in Japan. The event always features a highly diverse lineup of world-class artists, including both young and talented musicians, as well as internationally-recognized stars. Along with free shows at nearby Yoyogi Park, the impressive NHK Hall in Shibuya is the flagship venue for the event.

Ultra Japan


Electronic, EDM

Started in 2014, the biggest EDM festival in Japan is held at the outdoor Ultra Park in Odaiba. The festival has three stages: the Main Stage which features the biggest EDM names, the Resistance Stage which offers more underground techno/deep house performers, and the Ultra Park stage which highlights upcoming and local artists

Streaming and Download Sites in Japan

Japanese use smartphones, tablets, computers and traditional mobile phones (known as ‘garakei’ or ‘keitai’) to purchase and listen to digital music. The advent of the pandemic has translated to a rise in digital, listening to music on smartphones via streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, AWAkkbox, etc.  Most of the music sold in Japan now is digital with 75 percent in streams, and 25 percent as downloads.

Top international commercial music sites:

  • YouTube
  • Amazon Prime Music
  • Spotify
  • Apple Music
  • Google Play
  • Vimeo

The following is a list of top Japanese sites


We look forward to welcoming you onsite. Meet with new potential business partners, re-new old acquaintances and pursue new international trade opportunities. CAAMA members receive a discount on their CMW registration.

The International Marketplace hosted close to 1,000 B2B meetings around CMW in 2023. The 2024 Spotlight is on India, home to IPI (India Phonographic Industry) – the 2nd oldest music industry org. in the world involved in protecting copyright When CAAMA produced its Spotlight on India in 2010, only 7.5% of India was connected to the internet. In 2022 India was ranked as the 2nd largest online market worldwide, 2nd only to China. Now, 52% of India is connected, The 2024 Spotlight will tap new opportunities which were not accessible 14 years ago.  CAAMA’s 2024 Spotlight will provide fresh access to this industry, which is one of the world’s most established.

Sign in online here to participate in the pre-arranged, curated B2B meetings.

CAAMA’s International Marketplace trade hub will be open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT during CMW.

You will find us in the room with all the flags.

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