Japan, China shops form talent duo

Move is second by a leading Japanese talent-cum-prod'n firm in 3 months

TOKYO — Yoshimoto Kogyo, Japan’s biggest comic talent shop, has taken a 30% capital stake in Beijing-based events planning company China Xiangyu Cultural Development Corp.

The partnership, said Yoshimoto prexy Isao Yoshino, intends to “nurture Chinese talent and bring out comic know-how to China.”

As a first step, the partnership will develop cellphone vid clips and ring tones for the Chinese market.

The two companies are already cooperating in various areas including the China Cultural Festival 2006, held in Japan, and a stage show in Shanghai featuring Yoshimoto talent.

Move is second into China by a leading Japanese talent-cum-production firm in three months.

In September, Avex, a music, movie and talent agency, acquired a 20% stake in Chinese talent agency Chengtian for $36 million. Chengtian reps top stars, including Xia Yu (“The Painted Veil”) and Hu Jun (“Everlasting Regret”), as well as Hong Kong stars Tony Leung Ka-fai and Carina Lau within China.

Founded in 1912, Osaka-based Yoshimoto Kogyo has nearly 650 talents under contract, including some of the biggest names in Japanese comedy.

The company also operates theaters, principally in Osaka and Tokyo, and an amusement park in Osaka.

In recent years, it has expanded its content-creation business across a range of media platforms. Its shares are listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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