Itochu Corp. said Wednesday it will start a Japanese animation fund with Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific Inc. to produce programs for broadcast in Japan and the United States.

The two companies have built a partnership through a joint venture to run a Japanese channel for Turner’s Cartoon Network and will use the new fund to further develop that partnership, Itochu said.

The fund will take advantage of Cartoon Network Studios and Itochu’s merchandising and distribution functions for production and marketing of new animated shows, the firm said.

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