Japan’s highly respected Nikkei financial news service is reporting that Kodansha has set up a U.S. subsidiary “to publish and sell translations of its Japanese manga” in the U.S. starting in September. The reason for the move, according to Nikkei, is “to boost its earnings in America, where its income has been limited to royalties received from U.S. firms.
Rumors of Kodansha entering the U.S. market were circulating at the BEA, but were contradicted by statements from Ali Kokmen of Del Rey manga, who told the Japanator Website earlier this month that Del Rey had reps in Tokyo acquiring the rights for manga series for 2009 and 2010. Del Rey and Kodansha did not respond to ICv2 requests for comment at the time.
Del Rey, which has the largest reliance on Kodansha titles in the States, has been the chief publisher of Kodansha manga titles here since 2003, when its parent company Random House formed a co-venture with Kodansha (see “Random House Preps Manga Releases”). Tokyopop and Dark Horse have also published Kodansha titles in the U.S.