DPJ pulls plug on ‘animation pantheon’ plan

Kyodo News

The government has formally decided to ditch a plan by the previous administration to build a state-run “animation pantheon,” education minister Tatsuo Kawabata said Thursday.

“We’ve decided not to build an animation facility after reviewing the supplementary budget for the fiscal year through March,” Kawabata told reporters.

The plan to create the center for exhibiting “manga” (comic books) and “anime” (animated films) was promoted by the Liberal Democratic Party-led government of former Prime Minister Taro Aso, a self-confessed fan of comic books.

But Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan criticized the plan as an example of wasteful spending. The project was even poorly received among some in the LDP.

The government is reviewing the extra budget compiled by the Aso administration and intends to divert some of that spending to its key initiatives.