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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #60: November 2, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: November 2, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

Hostage Saga Competes for Coverage
From Reuters: Reports on the aftermath of a powerful earthquake that hit northern Japan on Oct. 23 drew media attention away from the kidnapping and beheading of a Japanese tourist in Iraq. Television stations and newspapers did lead Sunday with the story of Shosei Koda's death, but the news of his kidnapping has mostly played second fiddle to the unfolding domestic crisis. On the day Koda's beheading was reported, the major national newscast also spent eight minutes detailing the condition of a toddler who was pulled from the rubble of the quake.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Law Prohibits Drivers From Using Mobile Phones
From the Mainichi Daily News: A new law banning the use of mobile phones while driving went into effect Monday. Police manned checkpoints on major thoroughfares around Tokyo to enforce the rule, ticketing drivers who failed to comply. Under a previous law, talking on a cell phone while driving was punishable only if the act contributed to "dangerous traffic conditions." The high number of traffic deaths led to the stricter law. In 2003, drivers' cell phone use was blamed for 34 road deaths.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

New Rule Bans Naming Juvenile Offenders Online
From United Press International via The Washington Times: Japan implemented new guidelines for the online publication of information on accused juveniles, but will not impose a penalty for violators. In October, at the behest of the Justice Ministry, the rules were introduced for some 600 to 700 Internet service providers. The guidelines follow the Juvenile Law, which bans traditional media from publishing articles and photos identifying offenders aged 19 or younger. In a test case, photos of a 17-year-old accused of a bus hijacking and murder were voluntarily eliminated from a Web site at the request of the ministry's Human Rights Bureau.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

DoCoMo Looks to Expand Its Vision Abroad
From the International Herald Tribune: NTT DoCoMo's concept of the cell phone of the future will attract users across the globe, said Takeshi Natsuno, the founder of DoCoMo's next-generation i-mode service. Within five years, i-mode subscriptions have reached over 42 million, one-third of Japan's population, and the company has licensed i-mode to overseas operators. "Everyone's looking to them, and everyone is saying that the rest of the world is six or seven months behind DoCoMo," said Paolo Pescatore, analyst at International Data Corp. in England. Natsuno said fierce competition has been a motive for further innovations. In August, NTT DoCoMo introduced the mobile wallet in Japan, equipped with Sony's FeliCa smart card, which combines the functions of credit cards, keys, subway tickets, and membership cards. The mobile wallet has already gained more than 400,000 users, and 10 million people are expected to subscribe by the end of next year.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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