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Controversial 'Anime Hall of Fame' Officially Canceled

posted on by Egan Loo

The Japanese government has officially cancelled its plans to build the proposed national media arts center — better known by its nickname, the "anime hall of fame" — on Thursday. Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Tatsuo Kawabata comfirmed his previously stated intent when he said, "We've decided not to build an animation facility after reviewing the supplementary budget for the fiscal year through March." Under the leadership of Yukio Hatoyama, Kawabata's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) removed the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from power for only the second time in 54 years.

The LDP had been planning the 11.7-billion-yen (about US$123-million) center as a place to exhibit anime, manga, films, and other forms of culture. However, back in May, Hatoyama called the center a "national manga kissaten (café)" and criticized it as a bureaucracy created for the interests of Tarō Asō, the man that Hatoyama replaced as Prime Minister. Asō argued that the center's plans actually predate his administration, but he also said that it would promote his larger proposal to use his country's "soft power" in anime, manga, and similar areas of culture to create jobs and reverse the economic downturn.

Even manga creators and animators were divided on the issue of the National Media Arts Center. The center's backers included Revolutionary Girl Utena creator Chiho Saitō and Pokémon producer Tsunekazu Ishihara, while Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino and character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko publicly criticized the plans.

Source: The Japan Times

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