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Broadcast Law:
Broadcasting for the Public

1945  Weather forecasting resumes 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 Singing Contest) starts
1946 First electoral broadcast
1946 Establishment of Broadcasting Culture Research Institute
1947 Street interviews "Gahdoshita-no Musumetachi" (The Girls Under the Railroad Overpass)
1950 Three Radio Laws established

The Three Radio Laws date from April 1950. These laws designated NHK as a "special corporation" and established the Radio Regulatory Commission. The "Broadcast Law" entrusted NHK with the responsibility of providing broadcasting throughout Japan. It also clarified the legal framework for commercial broadcasters, allowing them to begin service in 1951.

1950 From Broadcasting Under the 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, defining media rules for newspapers and broadcasters.

In April 1950, the Three Radio Laws, which included the Broadcast Law, were established. These laws variously replaced the pre-war Radio Telegraph Law, designated Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) as a special corporation, and established the Radio Regulatory Commission. The "Broadcast Law" led to a reorganization of NHK wherein NHK was specifically tasked with conducting broadcast research. The Broadcast Law also clarified the legal framework for commercial broadcasters. The Japanese broadcasting industry entered a new era, wherein NHK would be funded by receiving fees and commercial broadcasters by advertising revenue. By 1952, there were a total of 18 commercial broadcasters.

The Broadcast Law embodied three basic principles: guaranteed maximum availability of broadcasting, guaranteed freedom of expression through broadcasting, and guarantee of broadcasters' commitment to a healthy democracy. These laws required broadcasters to promote public welfare, and to strive for the sound development of broadcasting itself.

The new broadcasting system determined to a large extent the path that the post-war media would follow. The Radio Regulatory Commission was dissolved upon issuance of the first TV license.


TV Research Following the End of the WW2

TV research in Japan, which had been banned by GHQ, resumed in 1948. This commenced 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 used by the "TV automobiles" manufactured before the war.

Starting in 1949, STRL began conducting public experiments at various locations, including the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. In one such experiment in 1950, alternating signals were transmitted from STRL and from the Broadcasting Hall to the aforementioned Mitsukoshi Department Store. These broadcast signals, commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the start of NHK Radio Broadcasting, were received on a set in the department store. Additionally, street scenes from outside Ginza Mitsukoshi were transmitted to the Hall using a 4-GHz transponder. This was the first microwave relay broadcast in Japan.

In 1955, STRL constructed its own image orthicon camera to replace the RCA image orthicon cameras in use up to that time.

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