Harry Potter world coming to Japan

Harry Potter world coming to Japan

TOKYO - Agence France-Presse
Harry Potter world coming to Japan

Twin actors James and Oliver Phelps (C-R and C-L) -who played as Fred and George Weasley in all Harry Potter movies-, Warner Bros Consumer Products president Brad Globe (L), Universal Studios Japan president Glenn Gumpel (2nd L) and Universal parks and Resorts Global Business Development president Michael Silver (R) during an announcement at a press presentation in Osaka on May 10, 2012. AFP PHOTO

Fans in Japan of boy wizard Harry Potter will soon be able to explore the magical world of Hogwarts when Universal Studios Japan expands its theme park with a half-billion dollar investment.

The company is going to boost the footprint of its park in Osaka, western Japan, by one fifth, with an area devoted to the Harry Potter phenomenon that is slated for opening in 2014, a spokesman said Thursday.

"We will build several attractions, including a school for wizards," he said.

James and Oliver Phelps, who played the Weasley Twins in the Harry Potter movies, will be on hand later Thursday for the official unveiling of the plan, the spokesman said.

The blockbuster series has been a huge success in Japan, sparking long queues of costume-clad fans at bookstores every time the Japanese translation of a new novel was released.

Cinematic releases of each instalment have also proved wildly popular.

The operator of Universal Studios Japan, which opened in 2001, is a private firm licensed by the US Universal group. It has attractions featuring Sesame Street, Peter Pan's Neverland, and the Land of Oz, among others.