'Hall of anime' funds could get diverted

DPJ would reinstate single-parent welfare payments

TOKYO -- A 11.7 billion yen ($123 million) government plan for a media center dubbed the "hall of anime," will be nixed before it opens if the opposition wins the upcoming election.

The project, under the aegis of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, is to create a center to develop and promote manga, animated films, video games, computer-generated art and other forms of pop culture.

"...A state-run manga cafe," was how Yukio Hatoyama dismissed the enterprise in May, shortly before being elected leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).

A DPJ spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter shortly afterwards that they had no plan to stop the project if they take power in the election that must be held by the fall.

However, in a speech on Saturday in Hokkaido, Hatoyama said he would use the funds for the center to reinstate welfare payments to single-parent households, which were controversially cut from April.

"I'll make every effort to reinstate extra welfare payments for single-parent households, instead of building a hall of anime," said Hatoyama.