Japan to bow film commish

Local authorities hope new org will persuade police cooperation

TOKYO — Japan will create its first national film commission in June as debt-ridden cities attempt to lure moviemakers.

At least 10 cities have set up commissions over the last two years to promote their locations.

The Tokyo Location Box was set up April 20 and already receives an average of 20 inquiries a day.

The French production crew of Luc Besson’s “Wasabi” was one of the first to contact Tokyo Location Box for help on obtaining various permits to film in public parks and museums.

Commissions were also set up in Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama and other cities looking to increase tourist revenues by publicizing their cities in movies.

Filming in city streets is often vetoed by the police because of chronic traffic congestion, however. Local authorities hope the new national film commission will persuade the police to be more cooperative.

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