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A Tokyo Metropolitan Government office responsible for promoting filming in the city has received some 300 inquiries since its establishment about a month ago, according to metro government officials.

The number of inquiries from as far afield as the United States, South Korea and Hong Kong was well over the office’s earlier expectations.

Of the inquiries made to the Tokyo Location Box since its April 20 establishment, about 270 concerned the office’s operation and requests for information, while 26 sought permission to shoot TV dramas and films on location. Permission was issued in 15 of the 26 cases, they said.

The office was established to promote Tokyo’s image and culture through location footage shot in the capital.

Getting permission to film requires complicated paperwork, often to several divisions of the metro government that have separate jurisdictions over streets and buildings, but the new office facilitates the process by providing advice and information on where and how to apply.

A scene featuring Harumi wharf, which is owned by the metropolitan government, has already aired on a commercial station, while shooting at a metropolitan government building for a joint Japan-France production called “Wasabi” has already been completed, they said.

“Wasabi” stars French actor Jean Reno and Japanese actress Ryoko Hirosue. It is being produced by Luc Besson and directed by Gerald Krawczyk, both of France.

The Tokyo Location Box was proposed by Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, who favors promoting the city as a filming destination. He said he wanted to see a car chase scene in Tokyo’s Ginza similar to those shot in New York’s Manhattan.

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