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 broadcasters commitment
to a healthy democracy. The law regulated broadcasters so that they
would promote the public welfare and strive for the sound development
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 RCAs
image-orthicon cameras that had been employed up to that time.
broadcasters: a system of coexistence
2. Establishment of Nippon Hoso Kyokai
3. 525-scanning-line standard broadcasting
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