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JAMCO Online International Symposium

21st JAMCO Online International Symposium

March 14 to September 15, 2013

Tsunami Response Systems and the Role of Asia's Broadcasters

Opening Remarks

Yoshio Okawara
President, Japan Media Communication Center

The Japan Media Communication Center (JAMCO) endeavors, by way of fostering mutual understanding between Japan and the rest of the world, to contribute to the advancement of broadcasting culture in developing countries and around the world through the international exchange of TV programs.

As a key part of this endeavor, JAMCO has for many years produced international editions of some of the best programming on Japanese TV, selecting programs deemed suitable for overseas audiences, particularly in developing countries, and translating them into English, Spanish and other languages. The full library of these international editions—including documentaries, children’s and educational programming and dramas—has now grown to 1,521 titles. These are made available to TV stations in developing countries upon request and without cost, some directly from JAMCO and some others through the Japan Foundation. Most recently, there has been a great deal of interest in programs related to the Great East Japan Earthquake, which have been provided free of charge to numerous TV stations in the developing countries. By making it possible for these well-produced programs from Japan to be shown overseas in the local languages of the viewing audience, we hope to contribute to better understanding of Japan, as well as to disaster prevention and mitigation efforts in various parts of the world.

The annual JAMCO Online Symposium is also part of our overarching program to promote international understanding through TV content. In an era when television has gained enormous influence around the world in politics, economics, cultural affairs and daily life, we believe this opportunity for media experts from many different countries to exchange views and information across borders can play a valuable role in deepening international understanding.

The 21st JAMCO Online International Symposium takes place on the JAMCO website beginning March 14th, 2013. This year, specialists in Japan and abroad will address the theme, “Tsunami Response Systems and the Role of Asia’s Broadcasters.”

After the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster in 2004, new tsunami warning systems, including an integral role for broadcasters, were proposed for implementation in the affected countries. What is the present state of these systems, and how should they be assessed in light of the lessons learned following the Great East Japan Earthquake? In this symposium, reports from media experts around Asia on their local conditions and a report by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) on its efforts, along with reports on international cooperative undertakings by Japanese broadcasters, will be our starting point in discussing—from the perspective of broadcasting—what still needs to be done to bolster tsunami warning systems and international cooperation in the developing countries of Asia.

Following the keynote address by Senior Researcher Takanobu Tanaka of the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, we are scheduled to receive status reports on Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and reports on the activities of the ABU. Media representatives and experts from Japan will then offer responses from their respective points of view.

The JAMCO Online Symposium welcomes the participation of all who come to the website, and is open to comments and questions on the reports presented as well as the discussions that take place.

In closing, I would like to express my sincere hope that the proceedings here will in some small way contribute to improve tsunami response measures both in developing countries and around the world. Thank you.

Yoshio Okawara

President, Japan Media Communication Center

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