TOKYO -- Daio Paper has sold a museum dedicated to renowned Japanese author Junichi Watanabe to China's Qingdao Publishing Group.
The museum, located in Sapporo, opened in 1998. Daio created it to celebrate the recipient of the Naoki Prize, a Hokkaido native. Watanabe passed away in 2014.
The paper manufacturer turned the museum into a joint stock company Aug. 1 and sold all shares to Qingdao for an undisclosed price.
Traffic had been slow, with only about 3,000 visitors in 2015. But many of those who did come were Chinese, as Watanabe's works are popular in China.
"I hope this will be a catalyst for expanding the museum's operations on a global scale," Kunihiro Okazaki, a senior managing director at Daio, said at the signing ceremony Tuesday.