Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)–A group of suprapartisan lawmakers in Japan plans to introduce a bill to the upcoming ordinary session of the Diet to set up a national media art center to collect and store original manga copies and anime cels in order to prevent them from being taken out of the country.
Japanese-made manga and anime works have often become acquisition targets for foreign distributors thanks to their globally recognized high quality.
Keiji Furuya, chief of the House of Representatives steering committee and head of the group, said it is necessary to preserve them as “treasures of Japan” by setting up the center as soon as possible.
The Diet session is set to start on Jan. 22.
A similar initiative was budgeted in 2009 under the administration of then Prime Minister Taro Aso. But opposition parties criticized it as a project to construct a “state-run manga cafe.”
They also pointed to existing facilities such as the Kyoto International Manga Museum. Following the change of administration the same year, the 11.7-billion-yen project was canceled.