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17 Sep 2009

Video Games: turning on the charm in Japan

Minister Arcand with Québec video game industry representatives. Left to right: Chantal Cloutier, Director of Communications for Ubisoft; Jérôme Dumont, General Director of the École nationale en divertissement interactif (ENDI); Steve Couture, CEO of Frima; Minister Arcand; Dominique Brown, President of Beenox; and Pascal Tessier-Fleury, General Director of Sarbakan. Photo: Vincent Primeau, Graphic Designer / Photographer

During his official mission to Japan from September 22 to October 1, the Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, will attend the Tokyo Game Show to support Québec’s video game development industry in its prospecting efforts among the world’s foremost players in the field.

With its 55 companies and 6,600 employees (including 4,400 developers), Québec is now one of the world’s major video game development hubs. Investissement Québec President Jacques Daoust and a business delegation from the Québec video game industry will accompany Minister Arcand at the Tokyo Game Show.

During the mission, Minister Arcand will also mark the opening of a Québec Film Festival where directors Roger Cantin (The Hidden Fortress) and Benoît Pilon (The Necessities of Life) will be on hand. Ann Champoux, director general of film and TV production at SODEC (society for the development of cultural industries), will accompany Minister Arcand at this event.

In addition to a number of scheduled political meetings, Minister Arcand will inaugurate the studio for Québec artists in Tokyo and a new session of the Québec studies course at Meiji University. The academic institution houses a Québec documentation centre and has been offering the course for the past six years. “Since 2003, Québec has led five ministerial missions to consolidate our political, economic, academic and cultural ties with Japan. Our permanent presence via the Québec Government Office in Tokyo and now the artists’ studio clearly demonstrates our determination to maintain the relation of confidence that has been established with Japan, one of Québec’s priority partners.”

Japan is Québec’s second largest trading partner in Asia, after China, and the primary export market in Asia for Québec cultural products. Over the first six months of 2009, Québec exports to Japan increased by 11% compared with the previous year ($540 M). Around 50 Japanese companies have operations in Québec, accounting for over 6,500 jobs.

Québec-Japan Relations
Québec Government Office in Tokyo
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