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Press Release
2002/03/04
Bandai Co., Ltd. (7967)
2-5-4 Komagata Taito-ku, Tokyo
Takeo Takasu, President and COO
Bandai Group Establishes 'Bandai Channel' to
Distribute Broadband Content


Tokyo, March 4, 2002 - Bandai Co., Ltd. announced that in coordination with Sunrise Inc., Bandai Visual Co., Ltd. and Bandai Networks Co., Ltd. the establishment of a new corporation, 'Bandai Channel Co., Ltd.', whose main activity will be provision of a broadband content.

The new company is set to benefit hugely from the expertise of its four founding companies. Bandai itself is well known for its successes in the character branding business, based on toy and related businesses. Sunrise is a leader in the field of animation, with more than 180 series to its name, including Mobile Suit Gundam. Bandai Visual's film and DVD image software combine with its more than 370 image series to make it a key presence in this area. Lastly, Bandai Networks is a major player in the mobile phone content distribution business, with over 4.15 million subscribers. Bandai Channel will combine these varied strengths to formulate medium and long-term strategies ideally suited to business in the broadband era.

The establishment of the new company should be taken as a strong indication of the direction of Bandai Group strategies for the future. Bandai Channel is a manifestation of Bandai's commitment to broadband.

The content of Sunrise and Bandai Visual will be central to Bandai Channel's business. To this foundation will be added Bandai's unique entertainment know-how, and the interactive potential and continuous connectivity offered by cutting-edge communications technology. Bandai Channel is already preparing to provide high added-value businesses that offer customers the best that broadband has to offer.

Bandai Channel's distribution activities will not take place via standard Internet infrastructures. Instead, the company will make use of those servers owned by optical fiber, CATV and ADSL companies and those integrated into providers' closed networks.

This strategy will render investments in servers and other hardware unnecessary, which will in turn allow Bandai Channel to focus its activities on the key area of content production and distribution.

Existing plans call for content to be distributed to all terminals capable of sending and receiving rich content, such as PCs and game consoles. Sunrise's 1,700 hours of animated film are already undergoing conversion to digital format to allow transmission across broadband networks.

Bandai Channel plans to commence distribution in the summer or autumn of this year, when the proportion of Japanese households with broadband access is expected to reach the 10% mark.

Outline of Bandai Channel
Name
Bandai Channel Co., Ltd.
Location:
Taito-ku, Tokyo
Established:
March 1, 2002
Capital:
10 million yen
Shareholders:
Bandai (55%), Sunrise (30%), Bandai Visual (10%), Bandai Networks (5%)
Representative:
Satoru Matsumoto, president and representative director (will simultaneously serve as Sunrise director)
Directors:
Takashi Nakada, Satoshi Higashi, Kazumi Kawashiro, Yasuo Miyakawa, Takeshi Shimizu
Fiscal Closing Date:
Last day of February
Operating Activities:
Preparation relating to broadband image distribution business


Personal Background of Bandai Channel Representative
Satoru Matsumoto
August 1948
Born in Shizuoka Prefecture
1970
Joined Bandai Co., Ltd.
1985
Head of Development Headquarters
1986
Head of Toy Development, First Section
1988
Head of Hobby Products Department, Model Business
1991
Head of Hobby Products Business
1993
Head of Shizuoka Plant
1994
Director, Sunrise
1995
Managing Director, Sunrise



Reference
Bandai Co., Ltd.
Location:
Taito-ku, Tokyo
Representative Director and President:
Takeo Takasu
Capital:
23,626 million yen

Bandai's business centers on character merchandising methods based on incorporating global perspectives into products. Toys, video game software, clothes, models, confectionery, capsule products, life-style products and other offerings are included in product lineups.
Bandai: http://www.bandai.co.jp/

Sunrise Inc.
Location:
Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Representative Director and President:
Takayuki Yoshii
Capital:
32.27million yen

Sunrise produces animated films for both TV (such as Mobile Suit Gundam and COWBOY BEBOP) and for cinema. The company is also active in the creation of video games, in Internet-related businesses, and in offering services to mobile terminal users.

Sunrise: http://www.sunrise-inc.co.jp/
Hi-nobori.net http://www.hi-nobori.net/

Bandai Visual Co., Ltd.
Location:
Taito-ku, Tokyo
Representative Director and President:
Ryohei Tsunoda
Capital:
2,182.5 million yen

Bandai Visual is responsible for the planning and production of original image software for DVD applications and productions for cinema. Animated films produced by Bandai Visual include 'Mobile Police Patlabor' and 'Metropolis,' based on the comic by Osamu Tezuka, with Takeshi Kitano's 'HANA-BI' an example of non-animated films, which the company has produced.
Bandai Visual: http://www.bandaivisual.co.jp/

Bandai Networks Co., Ltd.
Location:
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative Director:
Takeo Takasu
Capital:
586 million yen

Bandai Networks was spun off from Bandai in September 2000 to offer network content services for mobile phones and PCs. The company is also active in the field of e-commerce. Fully 4.15 million subscribers pay to download the 'Kyarappa!' series and other Bandai Networks content (based on statistics released for all domestic businesses, January 31, 2002).
Bandai Networks: http://www.bandai-net.com/
Lalabit: http://www.lalabit.com/


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