November 02, 2004,Vol. 15, No. 15
ISSN 1349-7987
CONTENTS


Rep. YAMAMOTO Koichi Appointed Senior Vice-Ministerfor Internal Affairs and Communications

In line with the reform of the Second KOIZUMI Cabinet, Rep. YAMAMOTO Koichihas appointed as Senior Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.
The curriculum vitae of Senior Vice-Minister YAMAMOTO Koichi is asfollows:

Curriculum Vitae
Senior Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications
Koichi YAMAMOTO

Date of birth: September 4, 1947
Permanent domicile: Ehime Prefecture
 
Mar. 1970: Graduated from the Faculty of Economics, Keio University
May 1973:  President, Seiunkisen Co., Ltd.
Jun. 1989: President, Uwajima Cable Television Co., Inc.
Apr. 1991: Elected Member of the Ehime Prefectural Assembly (until June 1993)
Jul. 1993: Elected Member of the House of Representatives (HR) (since then, elected four times)
Sep. 1997:  Parliamentary Vice-Minister for the Environment (until July 1998)
Nov. 2003:  Chairman, the Standing Committee on Cabinet (HR)
Mar. 2004:  Chairman, the Federation of Ehime Prefecture Liberal Democratic Party Branches
Sep. 2004:  Senior Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications


Final Report of the "Study Groupon Policies for Effective Radio Spectrum Use" Compiled

-- Basic concepts on review of Spectrum User FeeSystem --

Since the beginning of the 21st century, radio spectrum use in the privatesector has been penetrating into the general public nationwide, as exemplifiedby cellular telephones; and, radio communications has been rapidly developingand shifting from voice communications to data and video communicationson broadband platforms.
For further development of such wireless services, it is vital to provide an unprecedented number of radio spectrums even under the current serious shortage of available radio spectrums.  Thus, measures based on existing radio regulatory policy have been requested to transform.
To this end, since January 2002 MIC has been holding the "Study Groupon Policies for Effective Radio Spectrum Use" (Chair: Vice-President forEducation and Prof. at the Faculty of Law and Economics, TAGAYA Kazuteru,Chiba University) for the purpose of deliberating upon new promotion measuresfor a scheme of effective radio spectrum use.
To date, the Study Group compiled proposals on i) the introductionof a compensation scheme for implementing rapid frequency reallocationand ii) the partial introduction of a radio frequency registration schemefor promoting free business activities.  These proposals were institutedthrough necessary amendments to the Radio Law at the Diet in May 2004. The Study Group has compiled its findings as its final report on basicconcepts concerning desirable regulatory frameworks for the new SpectrumUser Fee system and released it on October 1, 2004.

Main pillars of the concepts are:

1)    To consider economic values of radio spectrumsupon calculation of the Spectrum User Fee for encouraging the effectiveradio spectrum use; and
2)    By utilizing the Spectrum User Fee in additionto the general account budget;
i)    To double available frequencies throughintensive and strengthened R&D for supporting a foundation of the developmentof the wireless industry; as well as
ii)    To narrow the digital divide in cellular telephones,etc. so as to help the people in Japan benefit from the use of radio spectrumsas common resources of the Japanese nationals.
With respect to the review on i) the treatment of radio stations not requiringlicenses that are waived from paying the Spectrum User Fee, and ii) waiverand favored treatment of reduced fees for the government and local publicentities;
1)    The Spectrum User Fee shall not be collectedfrom radio stations not requiring licenses, which do not occupy specificfrequency bandwidths, including the existing wireless LANs.  Withregard to the treatment of radio equipment, which occupies specific frequencybandwidths, including the next-generation information consumer electronics,MIC will, by the end of 2004 at the latest, consider the treatment forsuch equipment, including regulatory frameworks for management (licensing,registration, radio stations not requiring licenses, etc.) of radio stations;and
2)    While acknowledging that in principle, the SpectrumUser Fee shall be collected from the government and local public entities,and waiver and favored treatment of reduced fees (politically favored treatment)are exceptional.  MIC will, as priority measures, implement assessmenton efforts of the government and local public entities to address the effectiveradio spectrum use and announcement on results thereof.  After implementationof such measures, MIC will, where necessary, consider legislation thereofin the future based on the results.


"Study Group on Countermeasures against SPAM" Held

MIC has convened the first meeting of the "Study Group on Countermeasuresagainst SPAM" on October 7, 2004, with the purpose of deliberating uponnecessary countermeasures for suppressing and preventing distribution ofunsolicited or malicious electronic mails (e-mails).

1. Purpose
With regard to e-mails sent to cellular telephones, etc. without consentof recipients for the purpose of advertising or public relations (so-calledSPAM), the purpose of the Study Group is, considering the fact that internationalharmonization with legislation in foreign countries,  and aggravatedand deceptive acts of sending e-mails in recent years, to deliberate uponnecessary countermeasures for suppressing and preventing distribution ofunsolicited or malicious e-mails, from a variety of viewpoints, concerningcontrol and efforts of telecommunications carriers to block SPAM underthe "Law on Regulation of Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail" (LawNo. 26 of April 17, 2002).

2. Themes to be deliberated upon

(1) Changes in the current status of SPAM after the enforcementof the "Law on Regulation of Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail"
(2) The current status of legislation in other countries
(3) Countermeasures, including regulatory frameworks, a scheme forefforts of telecommunications carriers, and various awareness campaignfor users


3. Schedule
The Study Group will compile an interim report by the end of 2004.

For detailed information, please refer to:
http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_sosiki/joho_tsusin/policyreports/chousa/meiwaku-mail/index.html (Japanese-language version)


"Consultative Group on the Future Image of RadioBroadcasting in the Digital Age" Convened

On September 22, 2004, MIC convened the first meeting of the "ConsultativeGroup on the Future Image of Radio Broadcasting in the Digital Age" fordeliberating upon i) basic roles of terrestrial radio broadcasting in thedigital age, ii) measures for developing business models, etc. of terrestrialradio broadcasting in the digital multimedia age, and iii) the future imageof terrestrial radio broadcasting based upon thereof.

1. Backgrounds and purposes
Some eighty years have passed since the launch of terrestrial radiobroadcasting in Japan in March 1925.  Making the most of featuresof radio receivers, including convenience, portability, lower prices andwide area coverage, radio broadcasting have gained wider popularity asthe closest voice media to daily lives.  Radio broadcasting has beenplaying an important function as information media in case of disasters.
However, along with the development of multimedia platforms in recentyears, terrestrial radio broadcasting has been increasingly competing withmedia having the same features as terrestrial radio broadcasting has, suchas satellite mobile broadcasting and mobile data communications. In addition to the launch of terrestrial digital television broadcastingin December 2003, terrestrial digital television broadcasting for mobileterminals is planed to start within FY2005.  Thus, further competitionis foreseen among such media.
Under rapid changes in circumstances surrounding terrestrial radiobroadcasting, while many local radio broadcasting stations are facing severemanagerial environments, terrestrial radio broadcasters are placing theirhope on digitalization, such as the launch of development test broadcastingof terrestrial digital radio broadcasting in Tokyo and Osaka in October2003.
In response to such changes in circumstances, MIC held the "ConsultativeGroup on the Future Image of Radio Broadcasting in the Digital Age" fordeliberating upon i) basic roles of terrestrial radio broadcasting in thedigital age, ii) measures for developing business models, etc. of terrestrialradio broadcasting in the digital multimedia age, and iii) the future imageof terrestrial radio broadcasting based upon thereof.

2.    Themes to be deliberatedupon

1) Basic roles of terrestrial radio broadcasting in the digitalage
2) Measures for developing business models, etc. of terrestrial radiobroadcasting in the digital multimedia age
3) Future image of terrestrial radio broadcasting


3. Schedule
The Panel will compile its findings as a report by the end of FY2005.



 
 
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TelecommunicationsBureau, 
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