Paramount Pictures may build a theme park near the city of Osaka, the prefectural government said Monday.

Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto has spoken to Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc., about a proposal to redevelop the Expoland amusement park site in Suita, according to Yasumi Kitao, a spokesman for Osaka Prefecture's planning office.

Paramount's Japan unit didn't know whether its U.S. parent had been in talks about a proposal, spokeswoman Rie Matsuo said.

A Paramount Pictures theme park would join Disneyland and Universal Studio in Japan. Tokyo's two Disney parks, operated under license by Oriental Land Co., are forecast to attract a record 26.5 million people this year, even as the economy enters a recession and households pare spending.

Paramount approached the Osaka government about redeveloping the 20-hectare Expoland site in August, according to a media report Monday. The operator of Expoland has filed for bankruptcy protection, the report said.

The talks follow an announcement by Daewoo Motor Sales Corp. in May that it was seeking 1.5 trillion won ($1.03 billion) to build a Paramount Pictures resort in South Korea.

In October, Oriental Land abandoned a plan to open an indoor entertainment and shopping complex with Disney in a large city other than Tokyo after an 18-month study found the project wouldn't be profitable.