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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #66: December 16, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: December 16, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

Music Seen as 'Killer App' for Cell Phones
From The Japan Times: Japanese wireless company KDDI has launched a wireless music download service that works with certain next-generation handsets. Unlike similar services that allow subscribers to download 30-second clips for use as ring tones, KDDI's Chaku-uta Full service will offer complete songs in the popular MP3 format. Songs cost 300 yen ($2.86) apiece, and the library now consists of some 10,000 tracks. KDDI officials say technical limitations of current handsets will keep the service from posing a serious challenge to Apple's market-leading iPod digital music player for the near future. "But unlike iPod, users can download very easily," said KDDI's Tatsuo Yagi. "And if the handsets' memory capacity increases, cell phones may become a significant presence as portable music players."
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Yahoo Japan to Feature Quake Reports
From Kyodo News via Yahoo Asia News: Yahoo Japan said it plans to offer real-time earthquake data on its Web site and via its wireless service, including information on the time, location and size of temblors measuring 3 or greater on Japan's seven-point intensity scale. When a seismic event occurs, the front page of Yahoo Japan will include information on the quake for about a minute, and banner ads on interior pages will turn into bulletin boards with additional info. Sources at the company, Japan's largest Internet portal, said the decision to offer comprehensive earthquake information resulted from an unsatisfactory experience with a temporary service following the recent Niigata quakes.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Japan Sees Rise of Online 'Suicide Clubs'
From BBC News: They want to die but are unwilling to face death alone, so they look to the Internet for help. In Japanese online chat rooms such as the "Suicide Club," thousands of people talk frankly about their desire to end their lives. Some have even organized group suicides (see Week in Review 10.13.04). Japan, already known for having one of the world's highest suicide rates, is now witnessing a disturbing new trend in the rise of suicide-related Web sites and chat rooms. BBC reporter Andrew Harding talked to Naoki Tachiwana, 34, who says he is depressed and has been using the Internet to find someone to die with. "It's like crossing the road when the traffic light is red," Tachiwana said. "It's not so scary when you're with others." Some people, like Tokyo help line counselor Yukiko Nishihara, worry that these sites encourage people to commit suicide. "When people are lonely and suicidal -- but afraid of death -- they find these Web sites which egg them on," Nishihara said.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

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