December 1, 2004

Ministry of Internal Affairs and
Communications
The Association for Promotion of
Digital Broadcasting

MIC to make public a roadmap for the opening of new digital television broadcasting stations (prefectural capitals)




Terrestrial digital television broadcasting, which was started in December 2003 in Japan's three large metropolitan areas (Kanto, Chukyo and Kinki area), has undergone constant expansion. Available service areas were expanded in the Kanto area in September and in the Kinki area in November 2004; and this was followed by the start of Toyama Prefecture service in October and rated output for key stations in the extended Chukyo area set for December 1, 2004 etc. Despite this rate of expansion, broadcasting companies have been receiving many requests from consumers for planned timetables for new service startup dates. In response to this consumer demand as well as to help ensure an easier transition from analog to digital broadcasting, we believe that a timetable to clarify the startup dates for all new terrestrial digital television broadcasting service for all prefectures is necessary.

Therefore, as December 1 2004 marked the one-year anniversary of the commencement of terrestrial digital television broadcasting in Japan, the MIC made the decision to make public a roadmap for new terrestrial digital television broadcasting service (prefectural capitals) by compiling the planned startup dates of all new broadcasting service to be started in all prefectural capitals (key stations) that are planning to start service by the end of 2006. This timetable was compiled with the cooperation of the Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting and its local branch associations.

The startup dates in this roadmap are being made public on the understanding that related technologies, such as analog frequency conversion, etc., shall continue being developed and implemented smoothly. MIC has been working toward the early opening of new stations for terrestrial digital television broadcasting by promoting measures for improvements in the necessary environmental, such as accelerating analog frequency conversion.

For details refer to the Japanese web site
http://www.soumu.go.jp/s-news/2004/041201_5.html

For further information about this press release, please contact:

International Policy Division, International Affairs Department
Telecommunications Bureau
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Tel: (03) 5253-5920 Fax: (03) 5253-5924

Or visit
http://www.soumu.go.jp/joho_tsusin/eng/contact.html to fill in the inquiry form.