Japan's Kadokawa Shoten Publishing has established a $17.8m (Y2bn) animationfund which will underwrite 35 film and TV animation productions over the nextfive years.

In addition to Kadokawa, theDevelopment Bank of Japan (DBJ) and other banking facilities such as ShinGinkoTokyo also contributed to the fund through a recently announced DBJ initiativeto stimulate the production, distribution and export of animated works.

While the trend of bankinginstitutions investing in visual contents has been on the rise, a fund purelyintended for animation has been quite rare until now. The first TV productionunderwritten by the fund is set for broadcast soon.

DBJ and their partners willhave no involvement in the productions, simply collecting dividends off theirinvestment, while Kadokawa Holdings is responsible for the management andallocation of the funds. To maintain financial transparency, quarterly andannual reporting will be conducted by an outside agency.

Kadokawa Shoten Publishingis a group company of Kadokawa Holdings, one of the largest media conglomeratesin Japan. Kadokawa Holdings recently sold most of its equalshare in distribution and production company Asmik Ace to focus on its ownrecently formed Kadokawa Herald Pictures.