Recent Development of "Community Broadcasting" systems in Japan．
Intrnational Geographical Union:
Intrnational Geographical Congress 2004, Glasgow, UK, 15-20 August, 2004.
RECENT DEVELOPMENT OF "COMMUNITY BROADCASTING" SYSTEMS IN JAPAN
Dr H Yamada, Associate Professor, Tokyo Keizai University
Tokyo Keizai University, 185-8502, Japan
A "community broadcasting" system in the Japanese context is a low-powered (less than 20w) FM radio system largely operating on commercial basis (with few exceptions). It was first authorized in 1992, and the number of stations grew rapidly after 1995, following the Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) earthquake.
Rapid diffusion of "community" FM systems was mainly propelled by joint efforts of local entrepreneurs and local government authorities. Although all stations licensed by 2002 are owned by commercial companies, they are regulated to stay independent and chain-ownership is prohibited. Those companies are often partly-owned or heavily subsidized by local governmental authorities. Local authorities often justify their funding for "community", but privately owned and commercially operated, radio stations on the point that they would be useful communication media in emergency such as a disaster of Kobe in 1995.
More recently, however, a different kind of operators have been licensed, or hopeful to be so, their "community broadcasting" stations. The very first of the kind has started their operation in Kyoto, since March 2003. It is owned by an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) body. Such operation become possible with accumulation and diffusion of know-hows for inexpensive ways of broadcasting. NPO-based radio stations are partly financed by subscription and believed to have only limited budget for their operation. If such independent non-commercial or NPO radio stations are sustainable in the urban Japanese market, they might play a great role as a new kind of local communication media.