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Cool Japan Fund Invests US$30 Million in Sentai Holdings (Update)

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Sentai Holdings is parent company of Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE, Anime Network

Cool Japan Fund, the public-private company that the Japanese government employs to fund projects as part of its "Cool Japan" program, announced on Thursday that it has invested US$30 million in Sentai Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE, and Anime Network. The announcement noted that "Sentai's independent status makes it a rarity in North America as a licensor of Japanese anime."

Sentai Filmworks CEO John Ledford added that the investment allows the company to "further [its] potential by expanding and deepening [its] long-running support of the Japanese anime industry."

Sentai Filmworks recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to help Kyoto Animation and the victims after the deadly fire at Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building on July 18. Daisuke Okeda, the lawyer Kyoto Animation has hired to provide communications to the public about this incident, stated on Twitter on July 25 that through the Cool Japan organization he was able to get in contact with Sentai Filmworks.

Cool Japan fund appointed Naoki Kitagawa as the company's new CEO in June 2018.

Nikkei reported in November 2017 that Cool Japan Fund Inc. was underperforming in many of its investments, in particular projects that were spurred by business ties from company's leadership, including previous CEO Nobuyuki Ota and Chairman Kazunobu Iijima.

"Cool Japan" is a program supported by the Japanese government and various companies that promotes modern Japanese culture such as anime and manga abroad. The program revolves around the premise that Japan's strength in business and international affairs lies in anime, manga, films, fashion, and other fields of Japanese arts and entertainment content.

Update: Sentai Holdings confirmed with ANN on Monday that Section23 was part of the transaction because it is part of the Sentai Holdings group.

Source: Press release

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