Thomas & Friends is to air on Japanese public broadcaster NHK for the first time.
Hit Entertainment has secured the multi-year agreement, which will see the show air weekly on NHK's children's entertainment block from this month. The content will include all of the new CG-animated series, as well as the hour-long Thomas & Friends specials, which NHK plans to air on a spot basis.
All programming will be broadcast in Japanese, with NHK also taking a co-production credit in Japan starting with series 16.
"We're delighted to enter into this new partnership with NHK to bring Thomas & Friends to children and families in Japan," said Edward Catchpole, SVP of Hit Brands. "This is the next major step in cementing Thomas' position as the number one pre-school property in Japan and will significantly grow the brand in the future."