IPA in Japan, South Korea and Singapore

At the end of August, IPA’s President and Vice President continued their tour of Asia with visits to IPA members in Japan and South Korea with IPA's Secretary General going to Singapore..

South Korea

Vice President Hugo Setzer arrived from China and was joined in Seoul by President Michiel Kolman who flew in from Kuala Lumpur where he was attending the IFLA World Congress.

On Monday 27 August, the delegation was welcomed by the Korean Publishers Association (KPA) for an afternoon of lectures and a dinner with prominent local publishers. Before the sessions began, a journalist of the Munhwa Ilbo (Culture Daily) newspaper sat down with the IPA leadership for an interview, supported by an interpreter. Among other topics, Kolman and Setzer discussed the future of the publishing industry and the need for publishers to embrace technology and innovate. Korean publishers could play a special role in that development, given the presence of tech giants (such as Samsung and LG) and newer start-ups, as well as a booming independent publishing industry.

Like Vice-President Setzer, many of our Korean colleagues had just come back from the Beijing Book Fair. Spirits were high and the audience responded to Kolman and Setzer’s presentations with many questions. The IPA President addressed the points covered by the interview mentioned above, while the Vice President spoke of the founding and development of the Mexican CMO, CEMPRO. The latter presentation caught the interest of the audience, and the Mexican case might serve as an example to achieve something similar in Korea.

The IPA leaders closed the day by having dinner with the KPA Board, including President Chul-Ho Yoon, Secretary general Syjoong Kim, and Myung-Hwan Kim, Director of the Korean Publishers Research Institute as well as Iroo Joo, Executive Director for Planning and Cooperation.

Japan

IPA President Michiel Kolman and Vice-President Hugo Setzer continued their Asian tour in Tokyo, Japan, for meetings with the Japan Book Publishers Association (JBPA) on Thursday 30 August. The day began with a presentation at the JBPA offices, in the residential Fukuromachi neighborhood. It would be the last meeting in this location as the JBPA is soon to trade its longstanding home for a central location closer to Japan’s major publishing companies.

Kolman and Setzer introduced the IPA and its twin policy pillars of copyright protection and promotion of freedom to publish — along with examples of IPA activities from the past years – to Yumiko Hoshiba, who will soon replace Norio Yamamoto on the IPA’s Executive Committee. Ms Hoshiba is the President of Discover21, one of Japan’s most innovative publishing houses, specializing in books that offer new points of view on (Japanese) life in the 21st century by authors from a wide variety of backgrounds: from Buddhist monks and philosophers to economists and businesspeople. Ms Hoshiba is looking forward to meeting with the global IPA members during her next visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

The meeting was followed by dinner with JBPA Secretary-General Seiichi Higuchi, Ms Hoshiba, and Mr Yamamoto, as well as former IPA Vice-President Yu Kanehara. All provided the IPA leadership with new insights into Japanese publishing and toasted to our future collaboration with a new Japanese representative in the IPA.

Singapore

After IPA Secretary General’s recent visit to Malaysia (here and here) he took the opportunity to visit Singapore at the end of August. He was welcomed by senior representatives of IPA Member, the Singapore Book Publishers’ Association, and together they met with senior officials of Singapore’s Intellectual Property Office and the Ministry of Law to discuss Singapore’s current review of its copyright Act. José then met with educational and trade publishers, as well as members of the Board of the Singaporean CMO, CLASS.

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