Toho Tombo Pictures is a joint venture with Japan-based producer Georgina Pope, who has worked with top entertainment companies around the globe for more than 30 years.
The new company will be headed by Shimada Mitsuru, who currently serves as president of Toho Studios, as representative director of Toho Tombo Pictures. Pope, Ueda Koji and Toho Studios executive Sudo Tetsushi will serve as directors. Ueda is GM of international business of Toho and VP of U.S. subsidiary, Toho International, Inc.
Toho says that "interest in filming in Japan has skyrocketed over the past decade" and is seizing on the opportunity "to create a suite of services that incorporates the expertise and expansive capabilities of Japan’s premier film studio, Toho Studios."
International productions have shied away from filming in Japan as the country does not have location filming incentives, tax breaks or rebate schemes that can compete with other Asia-Pacific schemes in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
In mid-2019, Japan launched a pilot program by the Visual Industry Promotion Organization before being disrupted by COVID.
In a statement, the representative director and president of Toho Matsuoka Hiro said: "By establishing a firm dedicated to the needs of international producers and directors we will assemble a workforce ready to support overseas creators while contributing to the Japanese film industry and in turn the tourism industry."
Pope said: "I’m excited to collaborate with the Toho team on the launch of Toho Tombo Pictures. Toho is known as one of the most iconic brands in entertainment, both in Japan and beyond, and this new endeavour is sure to be of great service and value for both studio and independent productions looking to film in Japan."