• Kyodo

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Osaka-based entertainment management company Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. said Wednesday it will establish an academy in Okinawa to foster local talent.

It will offer training in the performing arts, including dance, song and comedy, and production skills such as lighting and costume design.

“Okinawa is a fitting location to build a hub for the cultivation and exchange of entertainment talent across the whole Asian region,” said the company, which specializes in production for TV, radio, theater and advertising.

Yoshimoto said it aims to promote culture and boost the prefectural economy.

It is currently examining possible locations and is seeking local authority and government cooperation with a view to starting classes in 2018.

The firm is drafting a curriculum and plans to hire teaching staff with global experience, including U.S. musical actor and multiple Tony Award winner Hinton Battle.

The school is expected to offer a two-year course and short programs. It will offer a free smartphone application that gives students outside Okinawa access to class content.

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