Few international productions shoot in Tokyo or around major landmarks, partly due to the difficulty in obtaining permission.
The Japanese government has announced it will make it easier to film in public places, something that has been a barrier for international productions wanting to shoot in the country.
The Strategic Program for the Creation, Protection and Exploitation of Intellectual Property 2017 will streamline the process for applications to shoot in areas like the famous Scramble Crossing in Tokyo’s Shibuya and make it possible to close major highways.
The current system requires productions to get permission from numerous organizations and is often cited as a reason so few Hollywood movies shoot in Japan, along with the lack of tax breaks or other subsidies.
Films from The Last Samurai to Ghost in the Shell have shot their Japan scenes in New Zealand, while some Japanese films have gone overseas to shoot sequences on highways or trains because getting permission at home was too difficult.
The program is also set to make crowdfunding and international productions for small-to-medium budget films easier.
More details about the program are set to be announced in the summer following a public consultation.