International trade disputes that center around the idea of free trade or a new mode of accumulation in the capitalist economy are not a mere indifferent background but are part and parcel of cultural politics and negotiations. In the cultural landscape, image and information will grow further in importance. Coming to terms with the interface of the global and the local or the transnational and the national is a crucial step toward any successful theorization of the link between the information image and globalization. The identity of a nation is directly linked to the state of image-commodity and to the industry that produces it. As developments in American television and media technology show, in the age of globalization, television is becoming perhaps the most crucial interface between image, information, and commodity. Japanese televisual culture has invented tarento as a monetary unit of late capitalism, and the circulation of the money sign maintains the cultural economy of contemporary Japan.
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