TOKYO – The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has appropriated Y1.7 billion ($15.3 million) for the 2008 edition of CoFesta, an umbrella fest of contents-related events, the ministry has announced.

Launched in 2007, CoFesta in its first edition included 18 events over a period of 40 days in the fall, culminating with the Tokyo International Film Festival and TIFFCOM market in late October. The aim was to present the entire array of Japanese contents, including pics, toons, music, TV shows and games, under one banner for foreign buyers and producers.

The appropriation, nearly the same as for 2007, indicates the ministry’s intention to keep CoFesta going on the same splashy scale as its inaugural year.

One change will be to move the Tokyo Game Show, a major CoFesta event that had been held in late September, to a mid-October date. Also, several other related CoFesta events will be moved to October, with the aim of heightening the CoFesta profile, while encouraging visitors to make CoFesta their one-stop shop for Japanese contents.

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In related news, the ministry has also appropriated Y1.56 billion ($14 million) to fight software piracy and copy products, up from Y1.49 billion ($13.4 million) in 2007.

The budget boost will enable the ministry to boost its campaign against piracy internationally, as well as domestically, by strengthening international anti-piracy agreements and dispatching anti-piracy task forces abroad.