Japan is currently undergoing several measures to contain the Corona Virus. Schools are closed for the foreseeable future, concerts and conventions have been postponed or canceled, and severe stress and fear has driven many to avoid social interaction. All as a result of a predicted surge in the Corona Virus that has failed to manifest, as reported by Bloomberg, to such a degree the mainstream media has begun raising questions whether the predicted surge was merely hype or if the countermeasures have been more effective than previously thought possible.
Regardless of whether the surge was over-hyped or merely delayed by the containment measures the Japanese have undertaken, the current effect on the populous remains the same. Now several industries have stepped up to the plate to aid Japanese society during these trying times by making material available for free.
Chief among them has been the Manga Industry who has made available digitally over 450 issues of their published material for free. Albeit for a limited time.
Though small-time publishers have likely joined the effort, it is only confirmed industry giants have done so thus far. Weekly Shonen Jump, Weekly Shonen Sunday, Weekly Shonen Champion, Jump SQ (April 2019 to March 2020), and Korokoro Comic (March Edition) have joined together to announce their content will be made available for free until March 31st.
Joining the manga industry the Kodakawa has released 200 of their popular children’s books for free until April 5th. Animax has announced they will be streaming Chibi Maruko-chan on Sky PerfecTV and have also made 100 episodes available for free on their Youtube Page until March 15th. Sadly we already missed out on that promotion.
Surprisingly American streaming service Hulu has announced they will make over 100 dramas available in Japan for free until March 31st. Music company Avex joined in announcing until March 31st they will be making some of their material available for free on their Youtube Channel.
It goes without saying that being charitable has a profit potential in drawing in new customers. Yet the fact remains they have not outright attempted to exploit the situation for their own profit. Rather they have focused on aiding their community during hard times and in doing so have set the gold standard Western industries should follow.