A new animation-focused joint venture, AK Holdings Corporation, will be launched by Sony Picture Entertainment (Japan) and local general trading giant Mitsui & Co. as of March 31 in Japan. The company’s priority will be the operation of national anime networks Kid Station and Animax, animated content production and distribution, worldwide live event presentation, and themed restaurants.
As majority owner of AK Holding, SPEJ is appointing Masao Takiyama as Managing Director of SPEJ Television Network and Representative Director of both anime broadcaster brands.
“In addition to a treasured form of Japanese art and culture, Anime has grown to become a major cultural export with massive commercial appeal around the world,” Takiyama commented. “Combining the strengths of Sony’s Animax with Mitsui’s Kids Station will allow us to increase our production capacity and reach fans of all ages in Japan and around the world.”
Nobuaki Kitamori, Executive Managing Officer and COO of Mitsui’s IT & communication unit, said, “Kids Station and Animax have long delivered attractive Anime programs to the fans. We are delighted to form this partnership with SPEJ to further accelerate the growth of the both companies. Leveraging the collective capabilities of SPEJ and Mitsui, we will strive to build and grow new businesses around the globe to make continuous contribution to Japanese creative industry.”
Sony operates Animax in 28 different countries; currently airing in Japan classic franchises like Dragon Ball and Lupin III as well as more recent hits like Hunter X Hunter and The Rose of Versailles. Kids Station’s lineup includes Anpanman, Pokemon, Yo-Kai Watch and Gintama.