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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #18: December 8, 2003

Japan Media Review Update: December 8, 2003

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

The following reviews are posted at:

orporate Chief Arrested in Reporter Wiretapping Case
The chairman of a major Japanese consumer loan company suspected of involvement in the illegal wiretapping of a journalist's phone line has been arrested, according to The Asahi Shimbun. Two Takefuji Corp. officials were arrested previously on the same charge in November, but spokesmen for the company denied allegations that chairman Yasuo Takei had been involved. Police arrested Takei based on evidence found at Takefuji and on the confessions of one arrested official who claimed that Takei ordered the wiretapping. Investigators said they seized official Takefuji documents with Takei's seal stamped on them, authorizing payments to the investigative agency in charge of the wiretapping.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Helen Baek

Virgin Radio to Launch in Japan
Britain-based Virgin Radio will launch its station in Japan within a year, reports Britain's Digital Spy. A spokesman for Virgin Radio said the Virgin group always planned to develop radio in foreign markets where its brand could be advertised. The stations are considered "stepping stones" for building the brand name. Virgin will also launch in Australia and already has radio stations in the United States, China, France, and Thailand as well as in the United Kingdom.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Helen Baek

Japan Plans Multibillion-Dollar Project to Connect Asia Via Broadband
Japan has proposed to the United Nations its plans to build a broadband network along railways and highways across Asia by 2010, according to South Korean publication The Electronic Times Internet. Hoping to become the information technology center for the world, one of Japan's goals for the "Asia Broadband Platform" is to create experts and researchers at regional levels. Japan plans to inject $15 billion into the program by 2005.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Helen Baek

On Heels of Bribery Scandal, TV Network Caught Staging News
The Nippon Television Network staged a lobster fishing show for a news program, buying lobsters after the fishing trip ended unsatisfactorily, reports the Mainichi Daily News. In the 20-minute feature produced by an outside source, a fisherman famous for his lobster-catching skills was supposed to find lobsters that had just shed their shells. When that failed, staff bought lobsters from a fish store and put them in the nets to simulate a catch. This is not the first time NTV has been caught in a scandal. Over the summer, a producer for the network allegedly paid viewers to boost ratings.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Sunny Yu

Digital Broadcasts Kick Off in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka
Terrestrial digital broadcasts started Dec. 1 in parts of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, providing vivid pictures and interactive programs, The Asahi Shimbun reports. Potential viewers are estimated at 12 million households, but the actual number may be only 300,000, in part due to poor reception caused by Japan's geography, adds Australian paper The Age. The government has a 2006 target date for digital availability across the country and plans to replace analog by 2011, despite the slow start. In addition to clearer images and improved sound quality, digital broadcasts can allow viewer participation with surveys, and show headlines and weather reports based on the viewer's location.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Death of Japanese Diplomats in Iraq Spurs Mixed Reactions From Media
Japanese newspapers varied in their reactions to the killing of two Japanese diplomats last month in an ambush near Tikrit, Iraq, reports BBC News. Newspapers ranged from criticizing the Japanese government and its plans to further "squander Japanese diplomatic assets" to showing staunch support for the government sending of Japanese troops to help in the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The Asahi Shimbun used the event to question whether the Japanese Self Defense forces should go to Iraq at all, while Nihon Keizai Shimbun supported deployment despite pressure on the government to not send troops.
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Helen Baek

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