TBS and Vietnam Television (VTV) to jointly produce special drama "The Partner" in large-scale project

May 14, 2013

TBS and Vietnam Television (VTV) announced their plan to bring the worlds of Japanese and Vietnamese television together in a large-scale project at a press conference. In the first stage of the project, the two stations will jointly produce the special drama "The Partner."

"The Partner" paints a vivid picture of how Japan, Vietnam, and their citizens relate today in the world of business and through international marriages. The story goes back over 100 years to take a deep look at the mutual history of the two countries, much of which now lies forgotten. It is an emotional human drama that also suggests ways that Japan and Vietnam can improve their relationship going forward. A Japanese businessman doing business with Vietnam delves into the hidden history of the two countries, learning about the important relationship between Phan Boi Chau, a pioneer in the struggle for Vietnamese independence, and Sakitaro Asaba, a Japanese physician. This new knowledge changes and deepens his relationship with people in both his work life and home life.

With a cast of stars from both countries, "The Partner" will feature performances by Noriyuki Higashiyama of Japan and Pham Huynh Dong of Vietnam. Giving further meaning to the title of the program, the Japanese-Vietnamese cast and production staff will work hand-in-hand as partners throughout the summer. The program is scheduled for a same-day launch in September 2013 in Japan and Vietnam.

At the press conference, Higashiyama commented, "I was really moved by the beautiful friendship these two men from different countries shared over 100 years ago. I'm extremely happy that we now have the opportunity to celebrate the ties between Sakitaro Asaba and Phan Boi Chau, tell their story to a new generation, and foster cultural exchange through our program." Displaying his enthusiasm for his role in the international production, actor Huynh Dong said, "It's my hope that we can contribute to the growth of the relationship between our two countries by portraying in our drama the friendship that has historically existed between them." In addition, actors Emi Takei, Nguyen Lan Phuong, and Mana Ashida spoke with pride about their participation, further heightening the sense of excitement about the project among the attendees of the press conference.

VTV participated in the press conference via a live feed from their studio in Vietnam. Thanks to this connection between the two studios, reporters in Vietnam were able to ask questions of the cast and production staff located in Japan. A fitting start to the large-scale international project between TBS and VTV, the press conference inspired participants in both Japan and Vietnam and made a big impression on reporters. With its all-star cast, "The Partner" is set to make a similarly big impression on viewers when it is broadcast in both countries on the same day in September 2013.