No.193 (8/12/11)

Japanese Television -- 地デジ(Chidigi)
&“24 Hour Television/Love Saves the Earth”

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

As of July 25, 2011 all of Japan started a digital television service. You may have seen the character called Chidigika (yellow deer) promoted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC.) Some of the newer off-base housing originally installed the proper antennas to receive the high-vision digital services, but other old housing does not come with this equipment. Therefore, some of you may have noticed that recently you became unable to watch the local channels. You will now need a new Japanese television which has the installed internal digital tuner, or you may need to install an external digital tuner with your American TV in order to view local Japanese programs since your American TV has became incompatible. You should check with your landlord regarding the new UHF antenna.

For those who just moved into town, you may want to know that there are two major broadcasting companies, which offer digital cable or satellite service. They offer monthly rental tuners in order to subscribe to a variety of shows including the high-vision digital local shows. The Flets service is like the Comcast Cable Network and they also provide high-speed internet and VOIP telephone services, etc. Sky Prefect is like a satellite dish network. They offer both American channel line-ups such as FOX, MTV, Disney, etc. but those are still being revised and not current. The followings are the English sites for more details.

If your house is ready to receive the service, you can purchase a small external tuner from local home centers. A well-known brand, I-O-data sells a device HVT- 2SD6 for 6980 yen and you may purchase it from their website or a larger electric store like K’s or Yamada Denki. AEON group or Itoyokado Shopping Center also sells a reasonable device PRODIA for 4980 yen. (The prices may be subject to change.)

When it comes to summer television shows in Japan, the traditional show called 24 Hour Television / “LOVE SAVES THE EARTH” (24 Jikan Televi) by Nippon Television Network Corporation and its affiliates is a must-see! The show is for the purpose of promoting charitable activities. The committee mainly divides into welfare, environment, and disaster relief in order to support many people in many countries, to preserve our beautiful planet, and to support environmental issues. Every year, the show has an encouraging theme. This year’s theme is: “力 -- わたしはたいせつなひとり。-- /Chikara Watashi wa Taisetsuna Hitori” meaning “Power -- I am the important one.” The show consists of various encouraging programs such as comedy shows, a human drama, a 24 hour marathon, a high school dance competition, etc. Throughout the show, activities go on promoting charity donations and reaffirm human connection by filling us with laughter and tears. This year, Kazuo Tokumitsu, at the age of 70, who has been a main personality of the show for a long time, was chosen as the runner. Can he make it to the goal by the end of the show?

You can also participate in this show by visiting the local shopping center, AEON Shimoda Mall and purchasing their charity goods or donating money. In the past, they donated to the relief for the 911 terrorist attack, earthquakes in Sumatra, China and Haiti, etc. As a matter of fact, the show raised over eight billion yen (about 16 million dollars) by June 29, 2011 just for the Tohoku Natural Disaster Relief. Starting from June 30 to August 28, donation boxes have been set up for their regular charity activities. You can find donation boxes on the first floor west court, the second floor information center, and many cashier counters at the Shimoda Mall. It may be hard to understand these shows in a different language, but you may find something unique and new by watching and it might help you learning some quick Japanese.

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