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ZDF Enterprises secures global distribution for new documentary 'Inside Japan’s War'

Mainz, January 19th, 2021

ZDF Enterprises has secured the international distribution rights (ex Australia) for a new four part series, Inside Japan’s War (4 x 60’), produced by Wildbear Entertainment. The documentary which begins filming in late January, explores WWII from Japan’s perspective; the rise and fall of its empire and how Japanese citizens coped throughout this period.

Ralf Rueckauer, Vice-President ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises, said: “We know so little about Japan’s experience in WWII, the country’s strategy and objectives, and even less about what it was like for its people living through these tumultuous times. Inside Japan’s War will give viewers a fascinating insight into a country that went from wielding vast power to suffering total devastation.”

By using a combination of archive material, personal accounts, expert interviews, graphics and contemporary images, a story unfolds revealing why Japan went to war. Having built an empire second only in size to that of the British, the documentary begins by looking at the country’s rise on the international stage. The political structure, the fervent nationalism and the meticulous and secret build-up of military power, all played a part in leading Japan to their surprise attacks in December 1941.

The astonishing growth of Japan’s empire in a matter of weeks results in rejoicing and every household receives a gift. However, due to the belligerent lack of cooperation between the Imperial Army and the Navy, only six months after Pearl Harbor the war begins to turn. The series goes on to examine the empire’s decline. The failure of their industries to keep up with military demands and the effect of blockades has an impact on the Japanese population. A growing awareness of the truth emerges, with domestic propaganda failing to measure up to its promises, as citizens are forced to live more frugally.  

Inside Japan’s War concludes with the US bombing of Japan and the devastation that ensued as the Empire collapses. Suicide bombing, slave labour, treatment of POWS and the country’s surrender are amongst some of the topics explored in this final episode.

Information on the program is available at


About ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises was founded in 1993 as a commercial subsidiary of ZDF, one of the largest and most renowned TV broadcasters in Europe. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the worldwide sale of programs, the making of international coproductions, the acquisition of licenses as well as the merchandising of strong program brands in its own name, for the ZDF, and for third parties. ZDF Enterprises has successfully established itself as an independent market player on the German and international stage. Bound into a strong group, the company manages the largest German-language stock of programs in the world and, next to this, a continuously growing portfolio of international productions consisting of series and miniseries, TV movies, documentaries and children’s programs. In the course of the development and diversification process carried out up to now, many business fields in the television and media domains were made accessible in the ZDF Enterprises group. Thus ZDF Enterprises can provide a comprehensive, full-service offering today, and covers every step in the chain of origin and exploitation of successful TV programs, from development to production and up to the marketing of TV licenses, merchandising rights, online rights and much more.

Contact ZDF Enterprises
Christine Denilauler (Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, Tel.: +49 6131-9911130, Fax: +49 6131-9912130, e-mail:,


Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany


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