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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 10:27 GMT
Animation centre opens in Tokyo
Spirited Away
Japan's Spirited Away won an Academy Award
Japan has opened a hi-tech animation centre in Tokyo, which it calls the first of its kind in the world.

The aim of the centre is to promote the country's animation culture at home and to overseas investors.

It will offer previews of animation projects and information for those working in the industry.

"The centre is designed for visitors to enjoy finding out about Japan's current and coming animation works," said spokesman Katsumi Ota.

"We're also working on building an animation business service for foreign buyers," he said.

Growing art forms

Information services will be available in English, Chinese and Korean, highlighting the popularity of Japanese animation abroad.

The centre also has a cinema showing special creations, film previews and 3D animation.

There will also be a unit to train and promote animation artists, which also offers a place for artists to display their works.

The distinctive cartoon styles of manga and anime are growing art forms both in and out of Japan.

Director Hayao Miyazaki has scored international success with Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, both of which were nominated for Academy Awards.

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