MTV Japan carried off two prizes at the 12th Asian Television Awards, held Nov. 29 in Singapore.

MTV Unplugged featuring Tomoyasu Hotei supported by Music.jp won the best music program award, while MTV Jammed featuring Angela Aki took out the best entertainment program category.

Prior to this year, MTV Japan had never won an Asian Television Award.

"We are very honored and happy especially considering how good the other nominees are in these categories," CheeK, senior VP, creative and content and creative director of MTV Japan, told Billboard.biz.

"MTV Unplugged and MTV Jammed were made with a lot of heart and effort by the MTV team together with the artists Mr. Hotei and Ms. Angela Aki and we are all equally excited about the recognition that we've received."

CheeK attributed MTV Japan's success to its policy of not only focusing on the musical content, but also "on the spirit and soul of the artists and audience."

CheeK continued: "With 'MTV Jammed with Angela Aki,' it is her music and the story of high school graduation that everyone can relate to, and with 'MTV Unplugged with Hotei' we eliminated gimmicks and let a great artist like Hotei and his music speak for themselves."

MTV Unplugged featuring Tomoyasu Hotei was produced in January 2007 and aired to more than 6.5 million homes in Japan, according to MTV Japan.

MTV Jammed, which was produced and aired in March 2007, documents a live concert by Angela Aki at the commencement and closing ceremony of Kotoura High School in western Japan, which was due to shutter after 70 years. MTV Japan will be re-broadcasting the programs at the end of December.

The MTV Japan executive believes the awards are an important recognition of Japan's music industry.

"I think that this is a good step for Japanese music and for MTV Japan. Japanese music has always been popular in Asia but many people may not be fully aware of the numerous genres and types of talents that we have to offer," CheeK says.

"Winning the awards in the two biggest categories at the Asian Television Awards certainly helps to expand the awareness of the different types of Japanese music that are available. Personally I feel that Asian audience are more ready now to check out different genres of Japanese music and MTV Japan is the best place to do that."

On the flip side, CheeK says that MTV Japan is also a strong forum for Asian music. "MTV Japan has always been keen to give exposure to Asian artists in Japan. For example we have the Buzz Asia platform on the channel where artists from South Korea and Taiwan get regular exposure. In addition, in our tent pole event, MTV Video Music Awards Japan, we feature South Korean, Taiwan and other Asian artists. We are also working to get the MTV VMAJ to be shown in more of the international MTV Channels."

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