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TW explores Japan cable

Time Warner Entertainment and its partners US West and Japanese-based Itochu and Toshiba are considering buying cable systems and/or starting program services in Japan.

Although a Time Warner spokesman declined comment on the reports of such a venture, Toshiba spokesperson Kakutaro Okamura told Daily Variety that the companies are conducting a study on the cable business in Japan to determine investment strategies.

“Nothing is decided, though,” Okamura emphasized.

Itochu spokesperson Yasuo Okuyama added that the studies will take into consideration the costs of rebuilding Japan’s cable infrastructure should it be necessary.

That Time Warner would look to expand its cable holdings to Japan comes as no surprise. Itochu Corp., which along with Toshiba own 11.5% of Time Warner Entertainment, is the majority owner of Tokyo-based cable TV operator Chofu.

Time Warner is also a 50% partner in Time Warner Japan with Toshiba and Itochu holding the other 50%. The purpose of the company is to invest in the country’s cable business.

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