Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) has publicly disassociated himself from a planned community to be built on a man-made island in Hakata Bay, near the city of Fukuoka.

Earlier this month Fukuoka mayor Kotaro Yamazaki announced a project to build a community for 1,500 families based on sketches drawn by Miyazaki. Samples from Miyazaki's work, together with a mission statement from the animator, were added to the project's Web site.

On November 20 Miyazaki sent a fax to Fukuoka mayor Kotaro Yamazaki and the Japanese press dissociating himself from the project and protesting the use of his name and sketches to publicise it. Miyazaki sent an additional letter on November 24 further pressing his demand.

In his letter Miyazaki said that, as animation director, he had neither the time nor desire to become directly involved in residential development, but that the Fukuoka city government had given the impression he was, leading to press reports calling the development "Miyazaki Ghibli Island."

In response, mayor Yamazaki said that Miyazaki's decision was "highly regrettable," but added that the city would withdraw all mention of his name from the project.