Japan, private firms eyeing joint international TV broadcast plan

07 Sep 2006

A government panel in Japan has began discussion on ways to have the government and businesses cooperate to enhance Japan's overseas-bound television broadcasts and its ability to send information abroad, the telecom ministry said.

The advisory committee to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications convened the first of a series of meetings in line with a government plan to improve the Japanese telecommunications and broadcasting sector operations, it said.

The plan, which telecom minister Heizo Takenaka announced, urges getting Japan Broadcasting, the government-backed TV and radio broadcaster also known as NHK, to strengthen its international TV broadcast services.

It aims to start new full-fledged broadcast services in fiscal 2009 under an 'all-Japan formula' that would have NHK set up a subsidiary for which private-sector broadcasters would put up part of its capital.

The ministry is set to submit an amendment to the Broadcast Law during a regular Diet session convening early next year to actualize the project after examining the panel's recommendations to be put forward by next March, ministry officials said.

During the day's meeting, panelists discussed how the envisioned overseas-bound TV broadcasts should be if they are to help Japan enhance its ability to send information to the international community, the officials said.

The panelists also examined the state of NHK's present overseas-bound TV and radio broadcasts, they said.

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