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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #17: December 1, 2003

Japan Media Review Update: December 1, 2003

JMR Staff (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California)

The following reviews are posted at:

Japan Ranks 14th in Information Access
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Japan is 14th in providing information and communication access, reports Kyodo News via Japan Today. ITU based its rankings on its Digital Access Index. This index was based on information and communication technology data from 2002 that rated nations' access friendliness. Sweden ranked first, followed by Denmark.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Sunny Yu

Schwarzenegger Coverage Conquers TV Ratings Wars in Japan
Anything that is not popular on Japanese television is immediately pulled off the air, but Arnold Schwarzenegger's run for governor of California has been a huge winner in a nation that has intense ratings wars, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Tokyo Broadcasting System in Japan sent a news crew to follow Schwarzenegger around from the premiere of "Terminator 3" to his inauguration. Akira Maki, Los Angeles bureau chief of TBS, attributes the Japanese media frenzy over "Shuwa-chan's" recall run to his worldwide action-hero status and the Japanese people's affinity to his "jolly" side. With the last transmission sent to Japan after the new governor's swearing-in, Maki and his crew reflected on Japan's "all Shuwa-chan, all the time" and hoped that this Schwarzenegger marathon would not end up being the defining moment of their journalistic careers.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Helen Baek

Cell Phone Software Upgrades Now Offered Over the Air
Cell phone makers NTT DoCoMo of Japan and SK Telecom of South Korea are now offering their customers the option of upgrading the software in their handsets without having to visit a service store. As InfoWorld reports, DoCoMo cell phones that support the software are already on the market and all future phones will carry it. It is said to be the first over-the-air software of its kind, allowing users to fix software glitches in their handsets without as much trouble as before and at a cheaper cost because the service store additional cost is cut. The companies will also save millions as the reduced need for work staff cuts costs, according to the report.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Helen Baek

Freelance Journalist Claims Company Wiretapped His Phone
After writing articles in which he criticized the business practices of consumer loan company Takefuji, a Japanese freelance journalist has filed suit against the company for having wiretapped his telephone from December 2000 to February 2001. The Asahi Shimbun reports two former Takefuji officials were arrested, one of whom confessed that he knew of the journalist's wiretapped phone, as were three private investigators who worked with the company officials. The journalist's lawyers said the instructions came from the Takefuji chairman himself, Yasuo Takei. A Takefuji spokesman protested by saying that the wiretapping was the act of one individual and that Takei was not involved. Other journalists also claimed to have been targets of wiretapping, but causes for the espionage are not known.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Helen Baek

Sony Partners With Japanese Papers for E-Publishing Business
From The Japan Times: Major papers The Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbum will team up with Sony and other firms to launch an electronic publishing company, Sony and four major partners announced. Publishing link Ltd. will distribute the publishers' content via the Internet, while Sony will sell electronic book players. The content will be available to members for downloading and reading on electronic book players and personal computers. There are 15 companies involved in the venture. Major partners include publishers Shinchosha Co. and Kodansha Ltd., and printing firms Dai Nippon Printing Co. and Toppan Printing Co. The companies expect service to start in the spring.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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