Tokyo, Singapore – MTV Asia, a unit of Viacom Inc., has announced the launch of Japan Hits and MTV 81, two 30-minute weekly programmes that began airing outside of Japan, on October 18 and October 20 respectively.

MTV 81, an introduction of the best of Japanese music, artists and culture to audiences around the world, is an on-air extension of the existing digital platform. Japan Hits will feature a weekly round-up of the best and latest music hits from Japan. The programmes will progressively be considered for broadcast outside of Asia too. 

To celebrate MTV 81’s weekend premiere, MTV Japan teamed up with Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) to bring fans a Japanese star-studded line-up of actors, directors and musicians with two live broadcasts – the prestigious Green Carpet Ceremony, which was streamed live from Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills Arena, and J-Culture in the Frame, which streams live exclusively on MTV81.com. At TIFF, MTV 81 featured Shoji Kawamori (known for the popular Macross flicks) and Tom Kawada of multimedia and design gurus AR3Bros, in an exclusive talk session about the current trends of Japanese film. 

“We’re very excited that we are taking Japanese music and culture internationally! There is no doubt that Asian music and entertainment cross borders and Japan has often been cited as a cultural hotspot and creative inspiration. That’s why MTV 81 was developed to leverage MTV Japan’s connection to music, fashion and pop culture, whilst offering an internationally focused insider’s point of view on what is shaping the pop culture landscape,” said VIMN Asia’s executive vice president and managing director, Indra Suharjono. “Just as Japanese artists have lent MTV Japan a domestic appeal, the network is now giving local artists the domestic and global spotlight like never before. MTV 81 will certainly be the platform for Japanese artists to acquire a global fan base.”

In collaboration with Dentsu Inc, MTV 81 was first launched as an English-language advertiser-supported digital platform in November 2012, as an increasing number of Japanese artists have gained recognition outside of Japan.