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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #69: January 20, 2005

Japan Media Review Update: January 20, 2005

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

The following reviews are posted at:

10 Years After Quake, Multilingual Emergency Info Still Lacking
From Yomiuri Shimbun: More foreign-language information should be provided by the media during a disaster like 1995's Great Hanshin Earthquake, said representatives of non-Japanese residents in Hyogo Prefecture at a December meeting hosted by the prefectural government. Non-Japanese residents could not get enough information about shelters, transportation and hospitals after the deadly quake, which struck Kobe on Jan. 17, 1995. To prevent a similar situation in the future, Hyogo Latino in Kobe started publishing a free monthly magazine including Spanish information. FM.CO.CO.LO in Osaka, the nation's first multilingual FM station, now broadcasts disaster warnings in not only Japanese but Chinese, Korean and other languages. Japanese-Peruvian Roxana Oshiro, a Spanish-language coordinator at World Kids Community and a radio personality at FM.CO.CO.LO, said the efforts have brought secure feelings to non-Japanese people. But she pointed out that they need more Spanish radio programs and the magazine needs to increase its circulation.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Lawmaker Admits Pressing NHK to Edit Coverage
From The Japan Times: A Liberal Democratic Party legislator admitted on Jan. 12 that while deputy chief cabinet secretary he told NHK to edit its coverage of a 2001 mock war crimes trial that found Emperor Hirohito guilty of allowing for the sexual enslavement of women during World War II. Shinzo Abe said after viewing the program he found the coverage biased and told the public broadcaster to present a more balanced perspective. His admission followed a report by The Asahi Shimbun alleging he and LDP member Shoichi Nakagawa (now minister of economy) both told NHK executives to edit the January 2001 program. The segment in question was part of series on Japanese responsibility for World War II. The mock trial resulted in a guilty verdict, which was cut in the program's final edit. Violence Against Women in War-Network Japan said the verdict was censored due to pressure from the political right and called it a "grave violation" of free speech and a free press. The group has demanded a public NHK investigation. NHK maintains the editor removed the footage on his own.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Erica Ogg

Sony's 'Creation Box' Clears Distorted TV, Video
From The Associated Press via Sony is boasting a device that adjusts TV signals to sharpen TV images and zoom in while editing home video. The Creation Box, unveiled Jan. 12 and priced at $4,800, has a remote control and hooks up to a separate TV and tuner provided by the user. Sony said the Creation Box renders images on any TV model clearer and enables zooming-in on high-definition video without the usual distortion. Sales of Sony's latest product, limited to Japan, will begin this month with no current plans for sales overseas, though the company promises the technology will be integrated into their new TVs.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Erica Ogg

Report: Market for E-pay Technology to Double in '05
From AFX via Yahoo U.K. Finance: The Japanese market for mobile platforms that allow electronic payment and security functions will double this year, according to a report by researchers at Nomura Securities, Japan's largest brokerage firm. The market for mobile electronic transactions is estimated to hit 52.2 billion yen (nearly $510 million), up from 29.8 billion yen (about $291 million) last year when NTT DoCoMo launched handsets with virtual wallet functions. The phones also function as smart-card electronic cash, ID cards and train passes. In addition, the company introduced handsets with fingerprint authentication for security in electronic transactions. The report also indicates the mobile content market will rise to 275.3 billion yen (nearly $2.7 billion) in 2005, an 8.8 percent increase from last year.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Psychiatrist Advocates Online Forum to Prevent Suicide Pacts
From The Asahi Shimbun: Takeshi Tamura, a psychiatrist and an associate professor at Tokyo Gakugei University, insists online suicide pacts should be prevented by offering safe Internet forums where desperate people can find consolation with the aid of experts in suicidal psychology. Many have blamed online suicide bulletin boards for encouraging people with suicidal impulses to find company in a pact, although Tamura acknowledges that Web sites with suicide-related information cannot be regulated. Organizations such as public broadcaster NHK and the Bureau of Citizens and Cultural Affairs of the Tokyo metropolitan government are providing online counseling for people withdrawing from society, but not for suicidal people. Tamura, who has offered online counseling since 1997, points out that public organizations with specialists or private organizations with volunteers can offer suicide prevention services online. Most Internet suicide pacts are performed by young people, and less than 50 people a year commit suicides by finding company online, he said.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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