ITOCHU Announces Entry into the Animation Business

Through an Investment in SKY Perfect Pictures Inc., a New Animation Production Company

March 25, 2024

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has entered into the animation business through an investment in SKY Perfect Pictures Inc. (hereinafter "SKY Perfect Pictures"). This company is involved in the planning, production investment, and sales of anime and other video content, as well as related businesses, and it launched on April 1, 2024, by SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Eiichi Yonekura, Representative Director, President & Chief Executive Officer; hereinafter "SKY Perfect JSAT").

Global sales in the Japanese animation market have increased due to worldwide popularity, and sales have quickly doubled in size over the last decade, reaching a record high of 2.9277 trillion yen in 2022*. While there has been an increase in the number of people interested in Japanese anime globally through increased overseas streaming, sales of character merchandise and other related products are not yet fully developed, and a further increase in sales is expected.

SKY Perfect JSAT launched an organization specifically for this business in 2020. Since the launch, SKY Perfect JSAT has developed its animation production business and is currently developing four anime productions. The dedicated organization within SKY Perfect JSAT has been spun off and launched as SKY Perfect Pictures, accelerating the development of this business segment. The new company aims to plan and launch more than ten anime productions in the next few years and expand both in Japan and abroad.

ITOCHU established Rights & Brands Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong in 2021. This company is involved in licensing anime and characters, promoting video streaming and commercialization in Asia. Through this investment in SKY Perfect Pictures, ITOCHU will enter into the animation business. In doing so, it will develop a system to promote the expansion of both its anime productions abroad and licensing for related products while also expanding the fan base for Japanese anime products and helping support the company growth.

ITOCHU transforms business through its "market-in" approach, which is a Basic Policy included in its Medium-term Management Plan. Anime and manga have grown from a subculture into part of the mainstream culture, and both have become triggers for stimulating consumption. Through this business, ITOCHU will gain knowledge and expertise in the animation business to provide new products and services that meet the diverse needs of customers in the core consumer related sector. ITOCHU also aims to further develop Japan's proud anime products across the globe.

About SKY Perfect Pictures Inc.

Company name SKY Perfect Pictures Inc.
Representative Atsushi Osanai
Headquarters Akasaka Intercity Air 11F, 1-8-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Established April 1, 2024
Capital 2 billion yen (capital + capital surplus)
Business Outline Planning, production investment, and sales of anime and other video content, as well as related businesses