Japan’s television broadcasters are stepping up efforts to capture new viewers in the Asian markets, where they see high-growth potential, by leveraging popular Japanese dramas and other shows. Japan has been named the MIPCOM 2016 Country of Honour. The Country of Honour programme is organised in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). The focus of Japan’s Country of Honour showcase in Cannes will be twofold. The rapid uptake of high definition 4K broadcasting will be one area in the spotlight.

According to research by Mitsubishi Research Institute, penetration of 4K television sets in Japan is poised to explode, from around 6% of households this year to more than half of the marketplace by 2020 – ahead of forecasts for either North America or Europe. Japanese operators are already broadcasting in 4K via satellite, cable and IPTV. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are due to be broadcast in not only 4K, but also 8K. Japan’s production sector is also shifting widely to 4K, as witnessed by the programming on show at MIPCOM. The second key focus will be on Japanese animation, with 2017 marking the 100 anniversary of the genre in Japan. Animation today accounts for 62% of Japan’s TV programming exports. MIPCOM 2016 will feature a look back at the history of Japanese animation, and will introduce the latest shows on the international marketplace. The MIPCOM Country of Honour event will also encompass presentations on Japanese tourism and cuisine. “We are very proud that

Japan is marking a new chapter in the history of MIPCOM as Country of Honour 2016. The Japanese television industry offers many exciting innovations, notably in the field 4K and High Dynamic Range Imaging, which we hope you will explore here in Cannes. Just as we hope delegates will appreciate the best Japanese animation has to offer, both past and present,” said Mabito Yoshida, Deputy Director- General of the Information and Communications Bureau at Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, which is a partner of the MIPCOM Country of Honour event. “This Country of Honour showcase will enable industry executives worldwide to appreciate the breadth and depth of Japanese TV output, as well as the cuttingedge innovations that are being tried and tested in the Japanese marketplace,” said Laurine Garaude, Director of Reed MIDEM’s Television Division. In honouring his country, Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO of Sony Corporation, will deliver the Media Mastermind Keynote at MIPCOM . Hirai’s opening keynote will be the first in a series of top-level industry addresses at MIPCOM. Sony is a unique brand that continues to provide compelling entertainment experiences to audiences around the world, through its array of cutting-edge technologies, content and services. Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, Sony is a rare global corporation that covers the whole value chain, from hardware through content creation and production to distribution. “With Japan featuring as MIPCOM 2016 Country of Honour, it’s exciting to welcome Mr. Hirai who represents Sony, the best in the entertainment industry originated in that country,” said Laurine Garaude, Director of Television at Reed MIDEM, which organises MIPCOM. Kazuo Hirai has been President and CEO of Sony Corporation since April 2012, and was appointed a Director of the Sony Board in June 2012.

In 1995 he joined Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), and in 1999 was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, SCEA with responsibility for overall operational management of the U.S. game business. Mr Hirai began his career with CBS/Sony Inc. (now Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. (SMEJ)) in 1984 where he was involved in the marketing of international music in Japan and later headed the international business affairs department.

Sony Pictures Television is inviting delegates to an exclusive screening of its highly-anticipated, new period drama series, The Halcyon. Produced by Left Bank Pictures and commissioned by ITV in the UK, the eight-part drama is set in 1940, and tells the story of a bustling and glamorous five-star hotel at the centre of London society at the start of World War Two. It shows life in the capital through the prism of war, and the impact it has on families, politics, relationships and work across all social strata, set to a soundtrack of the music of the era. The drama stars two of the UK’s most acclaimed actors; Steven Mackintosh (Luther) and Olivia Williams (Anna Karenina). The cast also includes Kara Tointon (Mr Selfridge), Alex Jennings (The Lady in the Van), Matt Ryan (Constantine), Hermione Corfield (Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur) and Mark Benton (Eddie the Eagle).

The Halcyon is executive produced by Sharon Hughff and Left Bank Chief Executive, Andy Harries and is produced by Chris Croucher. The Halcyon is distributed internationally by Sony Pictures Television. Multi award- winning singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum has written two songs, and top UK recording artist Beverley Knight will make a special guest appearance in The Halcyon, where she will perform at the Café De Paris. Keith LeGoy, President, Distribution, Sony Pictures Television said, “Left Bank Pictures are one of the UK’s most successful drama producers, and this new series has it all: exceptional writing, gripping storylines, a spectacular setting and a stellar cast.