The Evolution of TV

TOP PAGE > P8 Broadcast Law: Broadcasting for the Public

Broadcast Law:
Broadcasting for the Public

1945   Weather forecasting restarts after being suspended for 3 years and 8 months because of WW2
1945 NHK Radio 1 begins all-day broadcasting
1945 Broadcast of the “Red & White Music Contest,” later “NHK Red & White Singing Competition”
1946 “Nodo-jiman Shirouto Ongakugei” (Amateur Singer Contest) starts
1946 First electoral broadcast
1946 Establishment of Broadcasting Culture Research Institute
1947 Street interview “Gahdoshita-no Musumetachi” (Girls below a railroad bridge)
1950 Three Radio Laws established
The Three Radio Laws date from April 1950. Under these laws, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) became a “special corporation”, and the Radio Regulatory Commission was established. The “Broadcast Law” entrusted NHK with the responsibility of providing broadcasting throughout Japan. It also clarified the legal basis for commercial broadcasters, allowing the first commercial broadcasters to begin service in 1951.

1950 From Broadcasting under Occupation to Democratization

The Broadcast Laws
On August 15, 1945, Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration. The Occupation Forces’ General Headquarters (GHQ) issued instructions on freedom of speech and the press, as well as a press code and a radio code for Japan, emphasizing rules for the media of newspapers and broadcasting.
In April 1950, the Three Radio Laws, which included the Broadcast Law, were established. They replaced the pre-war Radio Telegraph Law, made Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) into a special corporation, and established the Radio Regulatory Commission. The “Broadcast Law” led to a reorganization of NHK in which NHK was given the specific assignment of research on broadcasting. The Broadcast Law also clarified the legal basis for commercial broadcasters (the first two Japanese commercial broadcasters began service in 1951). Thus the Japanese broadcasting industry had entered a new era, one with NHK supported by receiving fees and with commercial broadcasters funded by advertisement revenue. On September 1, 1951, CBC Radio “JOAR”, the first commercial broadcaster, began broadcasting. By 1952, there were a total of 18 commercial broadcasters.
The Broadcast Law embodies three basic principles: assurance of the maximum availability of broadcasting, assurance of freedom of expression through broadcasting, and assurance of the broadcaster’s commitment to a healthy democracy. The law regulated broadcasters so that they would promote the public welfare and strive for the sound development of broadcasting.
The new broadcasting system determined to a large extent the path that the post-war media would follow. The Radio Regulatory Commission was abolished when the first TV license was issued.

TV Research right after the End of the War

Research on TV in Japan, which had been banned by GHQ, resumed in 1948, beginning at STRL with the construction of a prototype image pickup tube and image receiving set and modifications to the 441-scanning line, 25 frames/second TV equipment of the TV cars that had been manufactured prior to the war.
Starting in 1949, STRL conducted public experiments at various locations. One of these experiments was held at the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. In 1950, signals were transmitted, in an alternating manner, from transmitters at STRL and from the Broadcasting Hall to the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. These broadcast signals were received on a receiving set in the department store and commemorated the 25th Anniversary of the start of NHK Radio Broadcasting. Additionally, scenes from the street outside Ginza Mitsukoshi were transmitted to the Hall using a 4-GHz transponder. This was the first microwave relay broadcast in Japan.
To inform residents outside the Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka areas of the potentials of TV, public experiments and exhibitions were held on trains in 1950, and using TV cars during 1951-1952.
STRL fabricated its own image-orthicon camera in 1955 to replace RCA’s image-orthicon cameras that had been employed up to that time.

1. NHK/commercial broadcasters: a system of coexistence
2. Establishment of Nippon Hoso Kyokai
3. 525-scanning-line standard broadcasting system

Prototype image-orthicon manufactured by STRL (1955)

Public TV experiment using a traveling TV car

25th anniversary of broadcasting, public experiment (on the rooftop of the Broadcasting Hall)

Unprecedentedly popular radio drama “Kimino Na-wa (What's your name?)”


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