Japanese panel nixes V-chip system

Programming options left up to b'casters

TOKYO — A Japanese Post and Telecommunications panel set up to consider TV programming said the nation does not need a V-chip system to screen out programming inappropriate for children.

The V-chip is strongly opposed by Japanese broadcasters, and the ministry panel said they should set up their own voluntary measures to limit the amount of violence and sex on television. Voluntary measures pushed by the ministry panel are for broadcasters to show they are concerned about the viewing public.

Cause and effect

The panel also said there is not enough evidence to determine a cause-and-effect relationship between television programming and antisocial behavior in children.

Few in the industry believe the panel’s recommendations will lead to any change in the content of programming in Japan. Industry watchers said that nudity in primetime is at an all-time high and that the content of Japanese programming has become more violent over the past few years in order to appeal to younger viewers.

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