Travel agency JTB Corp. said Wednesday it has agreed to forge a publishing-sector alliance with publishing house Shinchosha Co.

The companies are now finalizing the deal, which is aimed at exploiting human resources synergies and expertise in their respective publishing operations, JTB said.

Informed sources said that under the agreement, JTB will sell the trademark rights and goodwill of its monthly travel magazine “Tabi” to Shinchosha for 5 million yen. It will also dispatch three editors to the firm.

According to JTB, Shinchosha will begin publishing the magazine in April 2004.

The alliance also calls for marketing cooperation, such as sales promotions at bookstores, and cooperation over the Internet publishing business.

The sources said that the deal also envisions mutual use of warehouses and mutual procurement of paper and other materials.

The deal will meet the interests of both companies, with JTB wanting to streamline its publishing operations and Shinchosha wanting to publish a travel magazine, they said.

JTB’s publishing business posted 14.5 billion yen in sales in fiscal 2002, down 6 percent from the previous year.

The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome earlier this year dealt a significant blow to “Tabi,” which was first published in 1924, and to JTB’s other travel publications.

The sources said that JTB’s publishing division swung into the red in the April-June period, prompting the firm’s management to consider a major overhaul of its publishing operations.

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