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January 05, 2018 03:04 PM

2017 Japanse Music Products Industry Topics

Protect Music Education Committee Launched

JASRAC announced that it would collect copyright fee from music teaching studios throughout Japan after January 2018. Recognizing its impact to music teaching, students taking instrumental lesson and their parents, 7 music teaching laboratories and associations launched Protect Music Education Committee, which will be headed by Wataru Miki on February 2.

On May 30, over 300 music dealers and organizers of music teaching laboratory joined the force, and they had the 1st meeting to advocate their serious concerns over the JASRAC decision, and find out effective measures to keep copyright-free music lesson.

The committee filed a suite against JASRAC to Tokyo District Court claiming non-existence of copyright recipients relating to its use at music teaching laboratories. (February)

On December 21, JASRAC postponed execution of the collection of the copyright fee from music teaching studios.

Zoom Stocks Listed on JASDAQ

Zoom Corporation listed stock on JASDAQ Standard Market, Tokyo Stock Exchange on March 28.

Launched in 1983, Zoom put such innovative products as multiple effects processors and multi-track recorders at competitive price into the market. Without manufacturing factory, the company puts all capital into product development. Their latest product lines include compact hand-held recorders and video recorders offered for artist and creator markets

Yamaha Opens Factories in Indonesia and India

Yamaha announced in February that the company would launch a manufacturing base, Yamaha Musical Products Asia on the outskirt of Jakarta, Indonesia and build a new factory in Tamil Nadu, India with additional investment to Yamaha Music India.

The company cites an emphasis on the two factories in the growing markets where demands for musical instruments and audio products are increasing as middle class population expands in the area. They will serve the specific local needs while help expand Yamaha’s market share in the future.

Yamaha Musical Products Asia mainly intensifies production capability of digital pianos to be able to supply to world markets. The addition of a new factory will allow Yamaha to realign overall production lines at the existing 5 plants in Indonesia. It starts operation in this August.

Yamaha Music India was established in 2008 as a distribution arm in the country. Having a new manufacturing base, Yamaha streamlines processes of production and distribution to better meet the needs of the local market. The factory builds competitive price portable keyboards, acoustic guitars and PA system starting operation in Jan. 2019. Also it’s expected to serve as a key manufacturing base supplying neighboring young markets with the products in coming years.

Industry Members Request Exclusion of Musical Instruments from CITES Regulations

As rosewood included on CITES Appendix II, Japan Musical Instruments Association convened the first ad hoc meeting on December 12 in Tokyo to make clear issues on export and import procedures of the regulated plants.

In March 2017, Central Japan Musical Instruments Association organized a meeting of the kind in Nagoya for its members.

Reflecting growing industry concern about the issue, Japan Music Trades conducted a supplier survey sending them a questionnaire to reach industry consensus, and what we can do to get the regulation to be more acceptable, while keeping legal compliance to protect endangered species. Quite a lot of respondents agreed to the points that the industry needs more simplified import/export procedures, and exclusion of musical instruments from the regulation. (March)

Kawai Partners with Parsons Music

Kawai announced in February that the company would go into business partnership with Parsons Music Corporation, which manufactures and distributes music products in China and Hong Kong.

Since 1993 Kawai and Parsons have strengthened their collaboration in distribution of pianos in China, OEM production of Kawai pianos for Chinese market commissioned to Parsons, and launch of a digital music products manufacturing base.

As Chinese music market changes with the soaring demands for digital music products, high-quality music educational contents, advanced piano tuning/regulation technique and qualified human resources, the two companies agreed to enhance cooperation and bring a new dimension in business sharing high standard of excellence, technologies, distribution network and brand strategy of each other.

Future businesses of the allied group include, manufacture of Kawai brand musical instruments, marketing of Kawai products, providing after-sales services, operation of music teaching studio and training of music instructors, advocating necessity of periodical tuning to home piano users, raising technicians, etc.

Parsons is now the largest share holder of Kawai.

More Detailed Industry Statistics Are On The Way

Japan Musical Instruments Association decided to collect more detailed data for compilation of its first ever industry production/distribution statistics. The subject items are increased from 35 items to 70 items. (The results were not disclosed in 2017.) The association plans to conduct the second survey sending a questionnaire to importers/exporters and wholesalers in 2018. (June)

1st Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition

Kawai organized 1st Shigeru Kawai International Piano Competition in August. A total of 351 entries were submitted to Kawai from 25 countries. Forty-seven contestants won the semi-finals and 9 of them performed for the finals staged at Minato-mirai Hall, Yokoyama.

Saito Gakki Shut Down

Saito Gakki, a mallet instruments specialist manufacturer, shut the door on November 6.

Founded in 1947, Saito brand marimbas and vibraphones were much appreciated by percussionists and orchestras in Japan and overseas. As manufacturers in China and other developing countries came into the market, the company faced fierce competition with inexpensive products provided by them. CITES issue also impacted the business of Saito.

All those negative factors affected and the sales continued to decline, Saito filed for personal bankruptcy.

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