Friday, May 11, 2012

Japan Government and Military Conspiracies and Why Tokyo Only Has 5 FM Radio Stations for Over 35 Million People!


"Tell me another one of your conspiracy theories, Mike!" Jason laughed, his french fry grease-laden fingers shoveling piles of chips in his mouth. He dove headlong into and snorkeled his beer... "You always have the best ones!" He chortled. Just a moment before he had asked me why the FM radio stations in Tokyo all suck and why there were only a few of them in such a big city.



I told him that it was a long story and a conspiracy with military implications.

"Yeah, right!" He burst out laughing...

Feeling a bit perturbed by his insolence, I reminded him that even the US government admitted in 1978 that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy; that I was telling people as far back in 2002 that Global Warming was a scam - and I said that publicly on the air on my radio program! I also said the same about SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, etc. etc... 

Jason just continued to laugh.

He immediately stopped laughing and beer shot out his mouth and nose when I reminded him that I told him not to buy Groupon shares back when everyone said Groupon was the best thing since toilet paper (which is the direction that the value of their shares are hurtling towards at this very moment)... That one "fun fact" shut Jason up immediately. I know he lost his ass on that buy and he knows that I will never let him forget it. His head hunched over and he furrowed his brow then stared at the rim of his beer in dismayed silence.

Like the Bismarck losing a rudder and going down, that comment completely sank his mockery and his frivolous mood.... He wasn't laughing anymore... Jason took a big gulp of beer. He stared off into space for a moment again and then said, "OK... What have you got this time?...." 

I went into the story...

"Jason, in the metropolitan area of the capitol city of Japan, Tokyo, there are over 35 million homes. This metropolitan area accounts for 51% of Japan's total GDP... So it comes as a great surprise to many visitors to Tokyo to tune into any radio and find the dial sparsely populated with any signs of life.

What I mean to say is that besides incredibly boring and staid FM radio stations, there are just a handful of them - 5 commercial stations to be exact! Compare that to a city like Los Angeles which has a population of under 4 million people - about 1/10th the population of Tokyo - yet has, by last count, over 59 FM stations; over ten times the number of stations that Tokyo suffers!"

"Yeah. I know this. FM radio in Tokyo sucks. Are you saying they are all in some sort of 'sucking conspiracy'?" Jason asked.

"No. Just shut up and listen," I added. "This is a complicated story and is worth an entire book by itself.... But since both you and I are drinking, I'm just going to touch on the main points and you think about what this implies by yourself.... The reason why Japan in general only had 5 major terrestrial television stations (in a country with half the population of the United States) and why there are so few TV and radio stations in general has to do with the Cold War and the military-industrial complex as well as incredible Japanese government incompetence!"


"Radio? What's that?"
Seriously, though, about 95% of all Japanese under 35 years don't even own a radio! 

Jason chuckled knowingly about the incompetence part, yet said nothing.... He rolled his eyes, took a sip of beer and motioned for me to continue...

"Let's go back even one year, Jason, before all the TV stations went digital. At that time there were only 5 commercial TV stations in the Tokyo area that were accessible by most people. There were only 5 commercial FM stations.... Why was it, do you suppose, with all this available band-width that the Japanese government never allowed more TV or FM stations (or AM stations, for that matter) to be made? I'll tell you why; it was a conspiracy of the military industrial complex....

Here's pieces of the puzzle. Now I'll tell you what I saw, then you tell me what you think happened.... I'll definitely tell you what I think happened after putting 'two and two' together! 

In 1984, I moved to Japan. I needed a job so I got one teaching English. One assignment I had was teaching English to a bunch of engineers at an organization called NASDA (today called NAXA). NASDA was Japan's own version of NASA - you know, the people who waste gazillions of taxpayer dollars sending golf carts into space? Yeah. I taught those guys English. I even had security clearance. Not very high security clearance, mind you, but I could walk around the hallways with my handy neck strap and people wouldn't hassle me... So I was a sort of a 'regular' there. This next part is very important: NASDA was founded in 1969. This is critical information to this scandal....Don't forget that NASDA was founded in 1969!!!... 

Anyway, I taught these "rocket scientists" English for a few years or so... The mere fact that I taught "rocket scientists" English proves that they don't know what the f*ck they were doing! Hell, I didn't even have a teaching license and here I was teaching rocket scientists!

NASDA founded in 1969!?... Wait a minute!!? Man supposedly landed on
the moon that same year! Hey! Haven't I seen this toy on TV before... 

After a while teaching these guys, they became buddies of mine. Sometimes we went drinking together. One time they told me that they were so excited about a new project. So happy about it were they, that they showed it to me in person a few days later; it was Japan's first ever rocket. They were getting ready to launch this thing into space (or the air, or to where ever they could get it to go). They were so excited about it that it reminded me of my youth and how we gleefully launched model rockets a few hundred feet into the air from our backyards. They clucked with delight to show me this "huge" project....

On the other hand, I was so surprised when I saw the "rocket." I thought I was going to see something like we saw on TV of Apollo launches; you know, massive structures like rockets standing 100 or 150 meters tall into the sky... Taller than a building... But what I saw really did look like a big version of the toy model rockets that we launched when we were kids... The thing looked like it was at the most 26 feet tall and there was no way any sort of animal could ride in it - excepting maybe a mouse (and that would be considering that it were so narrow in the cockpit that he wouldn't have enough space to even change his mind!)..... The engineers told me that their mission was to send rockets into space with satellites to circle the globe....

I laughed at the absurdity of this nonsense and wondered why Japan was wasting tens, nay hundreds, of millions of dollars on this toy rocket nonsense...

It wouldn't strike me as a conspiracy for nearly a decade later...

Fast forward to about 1990 or 1991 or so...

Incredibly, somehow NASDA was able to launch this toy rocket and, by the early nineties, had grown their technology (no doubt a big thanks to NASA) and announced to the world that Japan was preparing to join the space race by sending up their very own communications satellite. 

Now, of course, Japan has to call this satellite a "communications satellite" because Japan's constitution forbids her from having any military. They could never say, "Spy satellite." But what do "communications" satellites do? The pick up on and bounce around communications.... It's not rocket science (pardon the pun) to figure out that a 'communications satellite' can also spy on people and countries.... 

I believe in order to counter any claims against this being a spy satellite... The government opened up 1/2 of the satellite for commercial broadcasting... It was never announced, of course, what other functions of the satellite were for obvious reasons....

The folks at the Japanese government proudly announced to the Japanese people that they were finally opening up the airwaves and were offering channels to companies who wanted their own TV and radio stations! Finally! Freedom of choice! "Our very own broadcasting station!" thought many big Japanese corporations who had asked the Japanese government for a broadcasting license for many years past only to be denied each time... 

With that news, many big corporations lined up for the chance to get a broadcasting license... They salivated at the chance! Finally, they could have what they've wanted since the beginning of the Japanese economic miracle of the sixties through the eighties: their very own station to broadcast as they wish and to better their sales and businesses.... It was a dream come true!

Or was it?

Of course, as I said, it seemed obvious to me, and a lot of other people at that time, that this satellite also served the purpose of spying on North Korea and China... Of course, though, the governments of Japan and the United States would never want to spy on North Korea or China, right? We're the good guys....

Anyway, many stations started up at that time on this satellite named CS Baan; those were both digital radio stations (I worked at one owned by Kadokawa publishing - one of the biggest publishing companies in Japan - called Radio Zipang) and many other TV stations. I don't recall the exact number, but it seems to me that there were a few dozen or three of these stations....

The biggest catch with this entire satellite broadcasting extravaganza that caught everyone by surprise (sort of) was that, while having a station to broadcast as you wish is wonderful, it doesn't mean anything if no one sees it or hears it. Sort of like the old question, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" 

The price for tuning into one of these stations was extremely expensive. One needed a satellite dish hooked up to their balcony as well as a tuner. The entire set plus installation - at that time - ran anywhere from ¥150,000 ~ ¥300,000 per unit  (about $1,800 ~ $3,600 USD)... Throw on top of that the extra monthly fee the stations charged for subscriptions, and you had companies asking people to fork over several thousands of dollars to watch or listen to the same type of sh*tty music or TV programs that the 4 or 5 free stations were airing....

Several thousands of dollars for crappy TV and radio? A tad bit of a problem.... So, needless to say, there were very few people who had bought the satellite tuner so that they could tune into this stuff.... In fact, I can't say that I knew of anyone who bought or owned one and I even worked at those stations...

Soon, of course, a bunch of these stations started going bankrupt... Radio Zipang did and I don't recall that it survived even one year in the broadcasting business. 

Imagine that if you were Kadokawa, the owner of Zipang. You just forked over millions of dollars for a broadcasting license to the Japanese government for a broadcasting license on a station that no one can listen to and now your station goes bankrupt.... I think you'd be a little bit pissed off. I think your lawyers might be considering some way to sue someone in court (like the Japanese government) for misleading you and pulling a 'Bait and switch' on your dreams of having a proper broadcasting station. That's a very important point! This is critical information to this scandal....Don't forget that it is quite conceivable that many of these corporations lost millions and would consider suing the Japanese government in court. I know I would. Wouldn't you?

By this time, I was already alert to what was going on. Think about it; there's no way one can just decide today that they're going to launch a 'communications satellite' or rocket and get it done in a few weeks or even months... It takes years...decades of planning and testing... 

Don't forget that NASDA was founded in 1969... What would be the purpose of founding a space agency? To launch sh*t into the air, right? I propose to you, Jason (and dear reader) That the Japanese government knew well before 1969 - most probably since the late 1950s - that they wanted to launch this satellite (that, of course, has military spy capabilities) and that they needed to do two things to cover their incompetent asses:

1) They wanted to get Japanese corporations to help cover the costs of building and launching this contraption by buying a broadcasting license (sneaky plan "a").

2) By also doing 1) (above) they could deflect criticism over the possible military uses of a satellite as this is obviously a violation of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution renouncing the establishment of a military or military capabilities (sneaky plan "b"). 

As an aside, one of the guys working for my company had a TV show on MTV Japan. MTV Japan was a channel on this silly satellite. They were losing millions. One day I was at that station and the Vice President of the entire company (a totally crazy woman named Rebecca) asked me, 

"How can we get a channel on a regular VHF TV station?"

That's easy," I answered, "Sue the Japanese government in court." She looked at me as if I were nuts. No, she's the nutty one. I'm the one who knows what he's talking about.

As I spoke, finally, Jason's eyes grew large. He looked at me and said something along the lines of the government of Japan being a total and complete clusterf*ck with conspiracies and incompetence galore.... 

Of course he is right.

"Get it, Jason?" I added. "Now think about it.... All these years, after the war and since the early 1950s (NHK & Nihon TV started in 1953) all these companies wanted a broadcasting license but the Japanese government denied them, not because there wasn't any space on the dial, but because they had plans for launching a satellite (and wanted political cover and subsidization from private enterprise!) A satellite that had some military and spy purposes (like all satellites do). Then, when they get ready to launch the satellite, they go back to the companies that originally wanted a license and say, "Remember when you asked for a broadcasting license? Well, we got it for you now!" 

Those companies then cough up millions to the government for their broadcasting license; subsidizing the launch of a satellite and.... Ka-ching! Cash registers ring!

Then they launch the satellite and, soon after, with a bit of poor planning (it is the government we're talking about here after all, right?) all these channels go bankrupt and even today the few remaining ones are all losing millions of dollars annually. So, today, when a new company (like, say Rakuten) wants a broadcasting license, the Japanese government just can't grant new licenses to them on free terrestrial channels because if they do they might get sued in court by the other companies that lost money on the other broadcasting license on satellite clusterf*ck!... Because the former companies that lost money can complain and ask why they weren't given the free channels instead first?

Example: Company A, that lost 400 million dollars on their satellite broadcasting station (as well as another dozens and dozens of others), might sue the government if said government allocates a free channel to Company Z. Get it? The companies that lost money might sue the government if the government gave away any new licenses on free terrestrial channels to other companies! Hence! No new stations! And today only 5 FM stations in Tokyo!

Now, years later, it doesn't matter for TV anymore as the remaining TV stations all went digital and three of them could go bankrupt. It doesn't really matter for radio anymore either as no one listens to radio. The Internet has come along and every company now has an Internet website to do with as they wish... No government interference... And, with the Internet, FEW COMPANIES EVEN WANT A BROADCASTING LICENSE IN JAPAN ANYMORE - THE GOVERNMENT COULDN'T GIVE THEM AWAY!!!

So now you know why there are only 5 FM stations in Tokyo... You may think this is a conspiracy, but, in a way, it was at one time, but now it's just one more piece of evidence on how incompetent and F'ed up the government is.... 

The government had ulterior motives (wanting to launch a satellite) in not allowing broadcasting licenses... Then they sold the licenses to takers. Then those companies went bankrupt. Then the government was afraid to give out licenses to other companies because they might get sued by the companies that lost money. Now? The internet has come along and no one even wants a license and all the rest of the remaining stations are all losing money... The government probably couldn't give away broadcasting licenses today for free!

What happened? A conspiracy? In the past... Yes. Ultimately, the end result? A government interfering with business; ignoring the constitution; back scratching and big money payola; and that same government doing whatever it can to cover their a*ses for decades and wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers and corporate tax money... On what?

An obsolete broadcasting business that is in the red across the board that no one watches or even cares about and a satellite that is only good for spying on North Korean missiles that don't work

Nah, that couldn't be a conspiracy... It's just plain a government f*ck up... That's MUCH more believable. 

Now, like I said, I'm not a rocket scientist, but I think my math on this one works out.... What do you think?


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For a related story, please refer to: The Collapse of Old Media - the Rise of Wi-Fi Broadcasting
http://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.jp/2010/07/marketing-japan-collapse-of-old-media.html

Thanks to guys and girls at NASDA and MTV

8 comments:

Mr. Nobody said...

Hello Mike!

The article is interesting, and asks many interesting questions. I beg to differ with some of the assertions.

There are only 5 television stations in the Tokyo area. That is true in many other countries too. Why is it that many governments around the world seem to limit the number of broadcasters from say 3 to roughly 6? I think the most likely reason is for governmental control of information. My belief is that the government can watch, manipulate, and influence, only 3-6 major media outlets at one time.

Another suspicion I have, is that limiting a product, like television licences, to only a few, makes them worth, and cost unsurprisingly, a tonne of money. When something costs a huge amount of money, how many people want to risk that amount of cash, by rocking the boat? Much like the kings and queens issuing publishing licences and "copyrights" for printers in the days of old, it can create both a symbiotic and parasitic relationship between disseminators of information, and the state.

How many company heads, or reporters for that matter, really rock the boat? Do they want to lose their career and wind up sleeping in the streets, or blissfully maintain the status quo, and let the wolves, if not eat the sheep, at least continue to "shear" them?

In regards to the satellites, my belief it is another situation of the state wanting to subsidise certain industries (aerospace/electronic companies) at the cost of everyone else.

That isn't to say that your general assertion is incorrect, just that the "intel birds", and tv sats, are not one and the same. Most television broadcast satellites don't have the same orbits as intelligence "birds". The TV satellites must stay in the same spot in geosynchronous orbit ca. 35.000km in space. Most intel birds have unusual orbits, can hover over targets by both the angle of their orbits and fuel, and have orbits that are only 300-100km up.

I wouldn't doubt it in the least that they might have wanted intel birds, and to get them, they pushed for the creation of television satellites to help develop and mature the technology.

The other question, is how much of the technology is used to watch Japan's neighbours, versus "listening in" on Japan itself? I will leave this as a rhetorical question for the moment, except to say, that my hunch is, more than you think.

The satellite age though is passing... Why is it in this day and age, they still only have 5 tv & 5 radio stations? Ineptitude, or control?

mikeintokyorogers said...

Oh, yes! Mr. Nobody! You are so cunningly genius! Why didn't I think of it? OF Course! Japan follows the USA! Of course part of the reason for this satellite is spying on the homeland! It's OBVIOUS!
"Does the west have a future?".

Anonymous said...

Crikey. If there were 10 then we'd have double the crap ! :-) - Michael Di Stacio

Anonymous said...

Look at all the pork. Their mantra might be, do you want another S hoko A sahara?

http://cryptome. org/carnivore-jp.htm

http://cryptome. org/noda072300.htm

http://cryptome. org/echelon040100.htm

http://cryptome. org/jya/echelon.htm

http://cryptome. org/cia-ico.htm

http://cryptome. org/jya/usic12.htm

Connect the dots...

diego.a said...

Some more links to prove your points on govt lies and incompetence:

"NASA: A Third-World Agency"

"Neil deGrasse Tyson Admits the Space Shuttle Was Never About Science"

Anonymous said...

Mike, why you say "It's just plain a government f*ck up"? It got the satellite into space, right? Wasn't that the whole point? "Mission accomplished! (Suckers!!)"

mikeintokyorogers said...

Dear Anonymous! Ha! ha! Ha! You're absolutely right!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Any guess what possibilities would of happened if VP Rebecca did get the ball rolling with a lawsuit? I would think other companies would want to piggy back on positive judgment from the court.