Skytree takes on new role

Kyodo

Tokyo Skytree took on its role Friday as a full-fledged broadcasting tower for the greater Tokyo region, with six TV stations sending out transmissions starting at 9 a.m.

Towering 634 meters above Sumida Ward, Skytree started out last year as a tourist spot.

It has taken over the broadcast duties of Tokyo Tower in Minato Ward, which had been beaming out TV airwaves since 1959. Tokyo Tower is expected to serve as a backup in case Skytree’s transmission facilities are disabled.

The switch is intended to improve transmission by NHK and five major commercial broadcasting companies.

Test transmissions began in December. As of Wednesday, the center handling reception problems had received around 420,000 inquiries and found that additional work was possibly needed in 125,000 cases. More than 99.5 percent of the cases have been addressed, the center said.