The Book Market of Japan
Breakfast Meeting October, 11, Frankfurt am Main
Seiichi Higuchi Japan Book Publishers Association
Population 120,000,000 Area 370,000km2
Population is not so small, compared to European countries. For example, Germany has 80 million people, France has 65 million etc. As the same situation of European countries, a trend of ageing is advanced. The percentage of people more than 65 years old is 20.8% in 2006. On the other hand, young generation has been decreasing. This is the serious problem for the society and publishing world as well.
Outline of the Book Market of Japan
Retail Market Sales of Books and Magazines
3,000.00 2,500.00 2,000.00 1,500.00 1,000.00 500.00 0.00
97 98 99 2000 01 02 03 04 05 06
Total Sales of Publications in 2006
Books 932.6 billion yen (US$ 7.8 billion) Magazines 1,220,0 (US$10.2 billion) Japanese book market is not necessarily small, but it has become declined since mid 1990s. The total sales of publishing industry in 2006 were nearly same as those of 1990. Japanese publishing industries lost 500 billion yen per year for these ten years. This means the size of the publishing industry became small by 20% of the maximum. Ten years ago, parents always said to their children, do not read manga but study hard. However, nowadays children do not read even manga. Their only concern seems to communicate their friends through mobile phones.
１. Most medium-sized and large publishers in Japan produce both books and magazines, and both are distributed through the same channel. In the trade market, a wholesale distributor will usually act as an intermediary between the publisher and the bookstore. Generally, publishers do business with distributors on a consignment basis, with the distributor then selling to the retail market on returnable basis. Distributors promptly and efficiently deliver books to bookstores and other retailers nationwide after receiving stock from publishers. It is difficult to sell books and magazines in Japan without a distributor, but a significant advantage of this system is that even small publishers can compete on an equal basis with major publishing houses in terms of getting titles into a large number of bookstores.
Major Publishing House in Japan
Company Shogakukan Kodansha Shueisha Kadokawa Gakken Gyosei NikkeiBP Zenrin Kobunsha Bungeishunju Top 10 Total Share of Top 10 Total Turnover in 2006 (million yen) 146,951 145,570 139,982 68,100 67,601 59,182 55,248 51,278 32,500 31,271 797,683 37.08% 2,152,540 Number of new titles in 2006 937 2,013 849 1,138 1,106 243 250 ― 442 530 7,508 9.66% 77,722
２．Approximately 70% of publications are distributed by a few wholesalers, which cover the whole country.
Convenience stores Convenience stores University University cooperatives cooperatives
Direct mail Direct mail Export Export (direct (direct business/ business/ exportersexportersexportersexportersimporters/ importers/ wholesalers)) wholesalers Direct sales Direct sales Door-to- door sales Door-to-door sales Door-toDoor-toInstallment Installment payment system payment system
Reading Reading audience, audience, including including libraries, libraries, schools, schools, members of members of university university cooperatives cooperatives and overseas and overseas readers readers
Newsstands Newsstands (stations etc.) (stations etc.)
Kiosks(JR stations) Kiosks(JR stations) Newspaper agents Newspaper agents School textbook distributors School textbook distributors Second- hand booksellers Second-hand booksellers SecondSecond-
(million yen) Company Nippan Tohan Osakaya Kurita Taiyosha Nikkyohan Chuosha Total Sales 678,217 654,964 120,561 58,563 48,274 38,269 26,641 1,625,489 Books 252,016 253,149 71,644 ― 22,141 Magazines 338,751 354,757 47,652 ― 24,995 others 87,449 47,058 1,264 ―...
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