Korea’s CJ Entertainment and T-Joy, the theatre chain affiliate of major Japanese studio Toei, are launching a joint investment and distribution venture that will start operations in April 2010.

CJ CEO Katherine Kim and T-Joy executive vice president Naoshi Yoda were at the Pusan International Film Festival to announce the as-yet-unnamed venture on Saturday.

It is due to start distributing in the first quarter of 2010, and aims to become one of the top five distributors in Japan by 2014.

CJ says it also plans to co-produce two to three overseas films a year through the joint venture, which will also produce and distribute three to five Japanese films and distribute at least five Korean films a year.

“T-Joy has 142 screens in Japanand has taken in the most admissions in Japan for one company,” said Kim. “It has also adapted the most quickly to digital innovations and has a corporate culture that will provide a strong and solid base in the Japan market. We’ll be joining the dynamic and competitive filmmaking contents of Korea with the stable system of Japan to create new innovation in Asia and furthermore in the world.”

Yoda said: “This joint venture is the fruit of building up personal trust and confidence over several years, but also beyond that, trust and confidence between our corporations.”

CJ Entertainment has previously co-produced pan-Asian films such as Goo Goo The Cat and Fish Story with Japan and Sophie’s Revenge with China.