Table Speech

Initiation Speech

November 26, 2008

Mr. Nobuyoshi Yamanaka,
Mr. Hideki Tomizawa

“Can Corporate Executives Make Contributions to Education?”

Mr. Nobuyoshi Yamanaka,
Chairman of the Board,

 It is my belief that an important aspect in discussing Japan’s future is human resources, in other words, “education to cultivate people”. I want to support “education” from my standpoint as a corporate executive, so I participated in the “Committee for the Promotion among Schools, Corporations, and Executives” hosted by the Japan Association of Corporate Executives. I have participated as a member of the Committee actively over the past 5 years.
 The Committee was founded in 2001 with the objective of advancing mutual exchange between corporations and schools based upon a proposal for active participation by corporate executives in educational activities. The objective is to contribute to promoting the reform of schools. Specifically, for the students, to “create opportunities to think about being helpful in the fostering of professional ethics and think about the future”. For the teachers, to “urge reforms that meet the changes in society, support school on-site activities, and supporting school management reforms as corporate executives”. For the parents the objective was to “relay the ongoing changes in corporations and society”.
 These activities involved teaching in classrooms, holding seminars, study groups, and conferences. There have been roughly 800 of these occasions since 1999 and over 200 members each year participate from the Japan Association of Corporate Executives as instructors.
 Targets for the program are elementary, middle and high schools. The messages to be relayed are left to the discretion of the members but the common themes are: (1) significance of work, (2) importance of learning, and (3) what is important as a human being.
 Executives speaking frankly about what they truly believe and holding free discussion are truly refreshing experiences. Children, even today, are pure. Adults passing on their views of the world and of society to these young people is an activity that is very significant in making children’s’ futures better. I make it a point to get the children I teach to write reviews after the classes I give. Feedback from the students as to what they felt, what they learned, what struck their hearts, and what they did not agree with is very enjoyable.
 The activities of the “Committee for the Promotion among Schools, Corporations, and Executives” are posted on the homepage of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives. If you are interested, please take a look. Please introduce us to schools who would welcome our instructors.

“Television and the Wave of Digitization”

Mr. Hideki Tomizawa,
Chairman of the Board,
Television Osaka, Inc.

 In recent TV programming, a commingling of news reporting, information and amusement is pronounced. It can even be said to be “transforming politics into mass culture”. Why does television present so many comedians? Why do all channels provide the same type of programming?
 Over many years, newspapers ruled the mass media. However, in 1975 private TV broadcasting companies overtook the newspaper companies in advertising revenues. Going into the 21st century, TV has become the undoubted leader surpassing newspapers, radio and magazines. TV disseminates information without any context. The recipients become subjectively objective and the concept of “whether the TV program is amusing or not” has become the measuring stick of what is considered quality.
 Programming producers have taken ingratiating favor of their audience, and the programming plans and casts have all become familiar. Programs that easily garner high audience share such as food and quiz shows have increased and comedians, who raise audience ratings, have also increased as all stations are homogenizing.
 Shifting the topic to the digitization of television, already 96% of viewing regions in Japan have become digitized, and by 2010 this number will reach 99%. Today, TV stations are broadcasting the same programs in both analog and digital modes. This is referred to as simultaneous broadcasting.
 It is now less than 1,000 days until July 24, 2011 when all analog broadcasting will be suspended. The burden for plants and equipment investments for digitization has been huge. Privately-owned stations, in particular the local stations, are all suffering strains in their overall management strength.
 Another issue is that more than half of the households do not own receivers compatible with the new ground-digital broadcasts. Although 70% of the people are aware of the time of termination of analog broadcasting, the receiver diffusion rate is only 40%.
 3 years hence, some households will not be able to receive television broadcasts and there will be a panic. Therefore, it may be necessary to take emergency measures such as the free distribution of low-cost tuners, or provide support for antenna modification.