Japan government cancels arts center

Resources to be focused on people, not places

HONG KONG -- Japan's new government has canceled plans to build a national media arts center, which would have celebrated the country's manga and anime industries.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Tatsuo Kawabata, the minister who heads education, culture, sports science and technology in the incoming DPJ government of Yukio Hatoyama.

"We would rather focus on fostering human resources, including creators, who will contribute to promoting media arts," Kawabata was quoted by the Mainichi newspaper as saying. " I am aware that there are many young people who are forced to give up animation jobs because they cannot make a living."

The center, which was budgeted at ¥11.7 billion ($128 million), had been nicknamed "the anime hall of fame" by its critics.