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Sony Pictures Entertainment, Mitsui launch TV animation JV

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) and Mitsui have announced that they will establish AK Holdings Corporation, a joint venture that will operate Japanese anime networks Kids Station and Animax, in addition to producing and distributing animated content, staging animation events around the world, and operating themed restaurants.

As majority owner of AK Holdings, SPEJ will appoint Masao Takiyama, managing director of SPEJ Television Network, to serve as representative director of both Kids Station and Animax. The new joint venture will begin operations on 31 March 2017.

“In addition to a treasured form of Japanese art and culture, Anime has grown to become a major cultural export with massive commercial appeal around the world. Combining the strengths of Sony’s Animax with Mitsui’s Kids Station will allow us to increase our production capacity and reach fans of all ages in Japan and around the world,” said Takiyama.

“Kids Station and Animax have long delivered attractive Anime programs to the fans. We are delighted to form this partnership with SPEJ to further accelerate the growth of the both companies. Leveraging the collective capabilities of SPEJ and Mitsui, we will strive to build and grow new businesses around the globe to make continuous contribution to Japanese creative industry”, said Mitsui executive managing officer, COO of IT & Communication Business Unit,Nobuaki Kitamori.

Sony Pictures Television executive VP networks Asia Pacific George Chien said, “Sony’s Animax channels have a presence in 28 countries and our networks also have a strong and growing footprint in the kids space. By teaming our flagship Animax channel with Kids Station, we can leverage the popularity of their combined IP to accelerate growth in both our animated and kids businesses globally.”

Japan’s pay-TV network, and the 24-hour network dedicated to anime, Animax is a multi-platform provider of content from movies to original series. Animax offers a variety of anime programs from across the most popular genres including action, romance, horror, supernatural, sci-fi, comedy, and slice-of-life. Sony Pictures Television Networks operates Animax branded networks in 28 countries around the world.

Featuring Japanese animation like ‘Anpanman’, ‘Pokémon’, ‘Yo-Kai Watch’, ‘Gintama’ and many more, Kids Station broadcasts programmes not only for children but also for their parents’ generations.