TBS, TW, Itochu bring Cartoon Net to Japan

HONG KONG — The Cartoon Network is coming to Japan. Hong Kong-based Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Itochu Corp. and Time Warner Entertainment Japan on Wednesday announced plans to launch the 24-hour animation network Sept. 1.

Cartoon Network Japan will carry Japanese and western animation, including cartoons from Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera and MGM. It will air in Japanese and be available on various cable and satellite platforms.

“Cartoon Network Japan marks the first time a country-specific Cartoon Network has been created for the Asia Pacific region, and emphasizes the importance that Turner Broadcasting places on the Japanese marketplace,” said Mike Byrd, managing director of TBS Asia Pacific.

“Cartoon Network’s ongoing global expansion not only signifies the worldwide cultural appeal of cartoon entertainment in its various forms, but more importantly affirms the unique branding sensibility that only we bring to the presentation and packaging of these shows,” said Betty Cohen, president of Cartoon Network Worldwide and TNT Intl.

Tokyo talent sought

The new operation will be headquartered in Tokyo and will hire local management and staff to create and market the network. The service will depend on advertising and subscription fees.

Cartoon Network Japan is the first joint venture in the content field for Turner and Itochu, one of Japan’s leading “sogo shosha,” or general trading companies.

“As Itochu is aiming to become a leading force in the multimedia field, this new venture with Turner and Time Warner, our major international strategic partner, is indeed a great step forward for Itochu,” said Akira Yokota of Itochu.

Time Warner Entertainment Japan is a joint venture of Time Warner, U.S. West, Itochu and Toshiba. It was established to promote and support the business of information, communication and visual entertainment in Japan.

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