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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #42: June 14, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: June 14, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

Japanese Companies Build DTV-Capable Cell Phone
From Wireless Watch Japan: KDDI R&D Laboratories and NHK Science and Technical Research Labs have jointly built a mobile phone with a digital television receiver. A prototype of the phone was shown at NHK's open house May 27-30, where visitors could watch newscasts displayed on the phone's screen. (See also Week in Review 06.01.04) This is Japan's first cell phone that can receive digital terrestrial TV signals and interactive services. Digital broadcasting aimed specifically at mobile users is expected to start in fiscal year 2005.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Schoolyard Killing Linked to Internet Use
From Reuters: Japanese media looked to the Internet for a possible explanation for the recent murder of an elementary school girl by her classmate. The 11-year-old suspect is reported to have been upset with a message posted by the victim on a Web site when she allegedly cut the victim's throat at their school. Both girls kept personal Web sites and participated in online chats. According to government data, more than 60 percent of elementary students use the Internet, and most of them have their own Web sites.

Some specialists warn that communication via the Internet should be done with extra caution, because it may trigger emotional reactions that are less likely to happen in face-to-face conversation. Other experts claim, however, that it is wrong to blame the Internet for the recent spate of shocking juvenile crimes in Japan. "It is true the Internet can be a factor in increasing emotional reactions," said Tatsuo Inamasu, a media professor at Hosei University, "but the more basic problem is that of an inability to communicate skillfully with another human being." Inamasu also points out that a lack of understanding of the Internet among many parents and teachers leads to an idea that computers can cause a killing.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

DTV Copy-Protection Measures Introduced
From The Asahi Shimbun: The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications plans to strengthen controls to prevent illegal copying of cable TV programs sent via fiber-optics. Copyright holders of TV shows, including scriptwriters, have expressed concerns about piracy, since the new technology allows viewers to make unlimited copies of programs with no loss in quality. At present, cable programming via fiber optics is offered only by KDDI Corp. and BB Cable Corp., both of which have a few thousand viewers and use proprietary anti-piracy measures. To prevent repeated copying, the Telecom Ministry plans to limit viewers' access by restricting the number of times viewers can watch a given program. A unified coding system also will be implemented.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

'Guardian' Writer Bemoans Japan's Iraq Coverage
From the U.K.'s Guardian Unlimited: Japanese news organizations have failed to tell the real story in Iraq, laments Justin McCurry, a Tokyo-based correspondent for The Guardian. They mostly toe the government line without digging for the truth, he writes. In Samawah, where Self-Defense Forces are stationed, renewed fighting has gotten little attention in the Japanese press, because journalists covering the troops are not allowed to leave the base. Meanwhile, McCurry writes, there are courageous freelance journalists -- such as Shinsuke Hashida and Kotaro Ogawa, who were killed in an ambush on May 27. "As major media organizations withdraw staff," he writes, "those who freelance as Hashida did are quickly becoming Japan's only direct link to the realities of the Iraq war." (See also Japan Media Review story on Iraq freelance reporter Takeharu Watai.)
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

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