GLOCOM Platform
debates Media Reviews Tech Reviews Special Topics Books & Journals
Summary Page
Search with Google
Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #64: December 1, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: December 1, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

NHK Airs Correction Despite Overturned Redress Ruling
From The Japan Times: Public broadcaster NHK voluntarily aired a correction about a defamatory segment one day after Japan's Supreme Court rejected the plaintiff's demand for clarification in the one-sided story of her divorce. The Nov. 26 correction was made on a morning program, the broadcaster admitting there were inaccuracies in a 1996 segment about the Saitama Prefecture woman's "sudden" decision to divorce. NHK did not interview the woman in the report, relying instead on interviews from her husband and son. The broadcaster also admitted the 58-year-old had been pursuing a divorce for nine years prior to the story, and the divorce had been a result of the couple's differing values. The top court upheld the Tokyo High Court's ruling for 1.3 million yen ($12,600) in damages, but argued NHK could not be made to air the correction because broadcasters have the freedom, coupled with a social responsibility, to report their own mistakes. (See previous Japan Times report for further details.)
-- By Japan Media Review Managing Editor Shellie Branco

NTT DoCoMo to Terminate 2G Service
From AFP via Yahoo Singapore News: NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile operator, announced that service for second-generation (2G) handsets would be terminated by 2012. According to DoCoMo President Masao Nakamura, although about 40 million of their current subscribers (85 percent of their users) use 2G handsets, the decision was made partly for cost reduction. But real-time video and other 3G technologies, introduced by DoCoMo in 2001 under its FOMA brand, are becoming mainstream, prompting the phase-out of 2G. With the end of 2G service, customers are forced to purchase more advanced and pricey handsets. According to Kyodo News via Comtex, DoCoMo has developed five new models of 3G FOMA handsets that feature a surround audio system for ringtones and Sony FeliCa e-money technology. The price of new handsets is around 35,000 yen ($340). DoCoMo expects to sell 10 million handsets of the new series in 2005.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Joint Venture to Push E-Books in Japan
From The Business Times via Singapore's IT AsiaOne: A joint venture of major Japanese digital media company SoftBank and a Singapore-based e-book software maker will promote e-publishing technology in Japan and Korea. The SoftBank subsidiary SoftBank Media and Marketing Group (SBMM) has made a $3 million investment in E-Book Systems, creator of the Digital Flip Technology that mimics the flipping of book pages. SBMM agreed last year to be the only distributor for E-Book Systems' Japanese and Korean markets. While the U.S. market represents nearly 95 percent of E-Book's revenue, Japanese profits may catch up soon with added help from SBMM, said E-Book's CEO Richard Wan.
-- By Japan Media Review Managing Editor Shellie Branco

Scientists Pursue Flexible LCD Screen
From the Yomiuri Shimbun: Japanese researchers are making strides toward development of a lightweight, bendable liquid crystal display that could be used in e-books and other mobile electronic media. While conventional LCD screens are rigid, a new semiconductor developed by a team from the Tokyo Institute of Technology could be used to create an energy-efficient, flexible, transparent display that would be well-suited for use in mobile devices. The results of their work have been published in the British journal Nature.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Anchorwomen Promote Digital TV
From The Japan Times: Six female newsanchors from each major broadcast station were appointed as "ambassadors" for digital terrestrial broadcasting by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry (formerly called the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications). Ambassadors will appear on various TV programs to promote digital terrestrial broadcasting, which celebrates its first anniversary on Dec. 1. The selected newscasters are Yuriko Shimazu of NHK, Noriko Baba of Nippon TV, Hitomi Nakamura of Fuji TV, Tamayo Marukawa of TV Asahi, Kanae Takeuchi of TBS, and Tomoko Morimoto of TV Tokyo.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Best-selling Net Story Mirrors Japan's Youth Culture
From Stuff (New Zealand): "Densha Otoko" ("The Train Man"), an Internet bulletin board love story published as a book last month, has become a bestseller in Japan. The book, written as a compiled series of messages posted on Japan's popular Channel 2 Net bulletin board, details the true story of an anonymous young man's online search for advice about dating a girl he met on a train. Some believe the book's popularity is a reflection of surging Internet use in Japan and the Web's major impact on young people's daily lives. John Clammer, a professor of comparative culture at Tokyo's Sophia University, said, "A lot of my students do spend a lot of their time on the Internet. It is, in a way, their connection to reality." The book contains e-mails with emoticons, a familiar writing style for young adults who communicate by cell phone text messaging. While Clammer described the Internet as "democratic," some highlight the dark side of anonymity on the Web. One pointed example is a recent suicide pact involving people who met through the Internet.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications