The UK's state owned broadcaster, the BBC, is setting its linguistic sights on the Land of the Rising Sun.

BBC Japan, which starts broadcasting in December and is funded by ad revenues, will show 'classics' such as Fawlty Towers and the Tweenies.

With the broadcaster's decades-old mission statement of programming that 'informs, educates and entertains' in mind, Masaaki Sugura, president of Japan MediArk, the local broadcaster with responsibility for distributing BBC Japan, says: "I sincerely hope that it will help all generations, from small children to business people, to learn 'the Queen's English'."

The Corporation already beams its news channel BBC World into the Far East and a similar English language entertainment channel, BBC Prime, is available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff