Minister Fast Welcomes New, Job-Creating Japanese Investment in Digital Media Sector

Japan’s gaming development leader NAMCO BANDAI chooses Canada for its world-class expertise in video game development

August 6, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, highlighted Canada’s strengths as an investment destination at today’s official opening of NAMCO BANDAI Studios Inc.’s online social game development studio in Vancouver.

Minister Fast joined Teresa Wat, British Columbia’s Minister of International Trade, in congratulating Shukuo Ishikawa, President, NAMCO BANDAI Holdings Inc., Hajime Nakatani, President, NAMCO BANDAI Studios Inc., and Satoshi Oshita, President, NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc., at the new studio, located in the Centre for Digital Media.

“Our government’s efforts to attract investments and promote Canadian leadership and expertise in the digital media and game development industry is why world-class companies like NAMCO BANDAI are setting up operations in Canada,” said Minister Fast. “Canada and Japan are recognized as huge players in the global video game development market—ranking in the top three in the world—and this new partnership will help provide more high-value jobs and new innovation to Vancouver’s vibrant digital and gaming industry.”

The studio launch, which was announced during a trade mission to Japan in April, also highlighted the innovative game application Shirokuma, which was jointly created by NAMCO BANDAI and the Centre for Digital Media student team. The Minister applauded the collaboration as an example of how talent and innovation lead to job creation for Canadians.

“We recognize the value and skills available in Canada and felt that this project presented an excellent opportunity to showcase innovation and excellence between our company and Canada’s digital media talent,” said NAMCO BANDAI Studios President Nakatani.

According to the Information and Communications Technology Council, between 2,300 and 3,200 digital media firms in Canada employ more than 52,000 people and generate annual revenues of over $3.5 billion.

“With one in 10 Canadian jobs linked to foreign investment, the Harper government will continue to promote Canada’s leadership and expertise in media to bring in new investments and create jobs and prosperity for Canadian businesses, workers and families,” added Minister Fast.

Japan is identified as a priority market for Canada in the Global Commerce Strategy. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Japan in 2012 was more than $25 billion, a seven-percent increase from 2011. Japanese investment in Canada was close to $17.5 billion at the end of 2012, an increase of over 13 percent from the previous year.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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