Toshiba Corp., reeling from massive losses from the bankruptcy of its U.S. nuclear unit, is considering quitting as sponsor for the popular cartoon show "Sazae-san" after 48 years, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
Airing on Sunday evenings since October 1969, the cartoon has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest-running animated series in the world.
The company's sponsorship of the cartoon, adapted from the comic strip of Machiko Hasegawa (1920-1992), is among the operations the Japanese conglomerate is reviewing amid efforts to revamp its financial standing.
Toshiba began sponsoring the weekly program to advertise its white goods home appliances, but its unit for making such products has already been sold off.
Fuji Media Holdings Inc., which runs the show on its national channel, will look to have a new sponsor in place as early as next March, the sources said.