Internal strife erupted among the management of Sony Music Entertainment Japan (SME) when it was discovered that the subsidiary’s CEO, Mizuno Michinori, was unaware of human civilization beyond East Asia. Prior to the fiasco, SME board members were discussing strategies to bolster sales. When a financial director proposed overseas expansion as a possible option, Mizuno reportedly stared blankly for several seconds before asking what the director meant.
“I was shocked when the CEO began asking what an ‘America’ was,” stated revenue officer Tanamori Keiichiro. “Several other board members also seemed perplexed at the mention of foreign continents. To think that I have been preparing this presentation for weeks only to hit a roadblock at basic geography is quite frustrating.”
The discussion dragged on for several hours as the participants furiously debated if countries outside of Asia really exist and whether or not they actually listen to music. Some argued that the extent of piracy in foreign countries meant limited opportunities for profit, while others claimed that overseas markets have no demand for Japanese music whatsoever. Live performances were unanimously out of the question after insurance representatives expressed concerns over the artists being abducted by terrorists.
At one point, a marketing consultant suggested the low-risk option of timely releasing media worldwide on digital platforms, but the idea was quickly shot down as being too reasonable.
Throughout the meeting, however, the concept of America slowly became familiar to Mizuno, remarking that he’d heard about it from the film division as “that place that was really into that emoji movie for some reason.” Regardless, Mizuno decided against expanding overseas after concluding that Japanese music is “not fit for the ears of filthy gaijin”.