At the Cool Japan Award, People from around the globe discover and certify what they agree as Cool Japan and promote them to overseas and for inbound businesses. We comprehensively evaluate and promote mainly designs of products but also community development and culture.

What is Cool Japan Award

At the Award, People from different countries discover and certify what they agree as Cool Japan. We comprehensively evaluate and promote not only designs of products but also various things such as community development and culture.
Applicants can utilize the foreigners’ evaluation made in the process towards their overseas business development and inbound strategies for their local communities. We discover Japanese potentials and contribute to a significant growth for the country.

Our History

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Japan-China ACG Industries Federation, the predecessor of Japan Cool Award, launched a project called “Cool Japan x Cool China” at film festivals in both countries (Yubari film festival and Changsha CICF Expo) to introduce cool anime comic games (ACG) of each country in hope of cheering up Japan by promoting Japanese culture and information to the rest of the world. The federation changed its name to Cool Japan Association. in August 2013 and established the structure to promote globally and launched Cool Japan Award in 2015 to discover and certify Cool Japan.


Entries submitted can be recognized by Cool Japan Award if they are approved by the foreign judges based on their judgement. “CJ Mark,” with cherry blossom, a symbol of Japan, depicted in the center of the vortex, represents the Japanese things and ideas that will create vortex around the world, symbolizing that they are designated by the award. The CJ Mark, the trademark of which is owned by Cool Japan Association, can only be used by the things and ideas designated by the award.

Cool Japan Association

Cool Japan Association digs for good things and ideas about Japan which are normally going unnoticed but can amaze the non-Japanese, making them give a spontaneous cheer “Cool!”. Designating those things and ideas as “Cool Japan” will lead to the development of domestic industries and cultures and running proactive campaigns directed at the world will contribute to the expansion of their businesses overseas and inbound strategies that are awarded.
The birth of the council dates back to 2011 when Japan-China ACG Industries Federation was founded. With the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, we ran a special project titled “COOL JAPAN×COOL CHINA” hoping that “introducing to the world the aspects of Japanese culture and communicating what Japan is all about will help the Japanese people regain spirit.” The project was carried out during the film festivals held in Japan (Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival) and in China (Changsha International Anime and Games Festival), featuring one another’s cool ACG, or amine and comic games.

In August 2013, the federation changed its name into “Cool Japan Association” with the vision to gain international ascendancy by clearly defining ourselves. In 2015 we started the “Cool Japan Award” and we have been running it since then searching for “Cool Japan things and ideas” designating the award to them and to provide them starting support.

Name Cool Japan Association, general incorporated association
Establishment June 16, 2011
Adress Nishijin Business Incubation Center Room 8 Kainokami-cho 97 Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City,
Representative Director Kent Yamauchi(Glocal Innovator / Representative of Farmstay & Countryside Tourism)
Chief Director Julien GIRY (France Lives・photographer NIPPON100 Supervision)
Vice Director Christopher Pokarier (Professor, Faculty of Commerce, Waseda University)
Director Julia Maeda(Tokyo Personalised Founder)
Director Aurélie ROPERCH(France Lives・photographer)
Director David Antonio(MiXTA co.,ltd CEO)
Chairman / Director Masato Ota (GETTI group representative)
Executive Director Ueda Teruhiko(Representative Director of WIP Group Representative and WIP Japan)
Director Shinichi Tanaka(Nishijin textile industry association Representative)
Director Hitoshi Sagaseki(Lives in NY・『COOL JAPAN NY Brooklyn K’s Gallery』representative)
Director / Chief of Secretariat Goro Isohisa(First-class architect)
Advisor Hiroshi Mizohata(Commissioner Osaka Tourism Board Chairman)
Advisor Hiroshi Fujiwara(Broadband Tower Corporation Representative Director Chairman and President CEO General President Internet Association Chairperson)
Advisor Osamitsu Yamada(Chairman, Kawasaki Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
Advisor Shirley Kao(Motion Picture Producer)
Advisor Toji Yoshihiro(IWATA GODO partner)
Advisor Tetsuo Kitani(Kyoto University Industry-Government Collaboration Headquarters IMS Contribution Training Section Professor)
Advisor Ken Shibusawa(Commons Asset Management Inc. executive chairman)
Advisor Hiroki Owada(Motion Picture Producer)
Advisor Hiromichi Endo(Kumamoto City Board of Education Committee Director)
Business contents ・Deliberations on “Cool Japan (hereinafter called CJ)” and designation process
・Holding Cool Japan Award (hereinafter called CJA) to discover and designate CJs.
・Managing CJ trademark and “Mark of Designation”
・Organizing CJ-related trade shows (CJ Showcase) inside and outside Japan inviting domestic and foreign researchers and entrepreneurs, local government officials, people from research organizations and corporate organizations, as well as other various events including association parties, tours, etc.
・Analyzing data about what the foreign observers have noted during the process of CJA judgment making, consulting, and providing support to the inbound and outbound.
・Distributing information on the things and ideas designated by CJ via leaflets, website, and movies and so on directed towards the domestic and overseas viewers.