The government and the ruling coalition parties have given up trying to pass legislation this Diet session to prevent a foreign company from gaining control of a domestic broadcaster partly through an affiliate in Japan, sources said Monday.
The planned legislation has become difficult to realize because Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Taro Aso is preoccupied with a set of bills to privatize postal services, the main item in the current session due to end Aug. 13, the sources said.
The government and the coalition hope to pass amendments to the radio and broadcast laws in this fall’s extraordinary session that would limit to less than 20 percent the combined stake a foreign company could hold directly or indirectly in a broadcaster.
The amendments were hastily worked out in the wake of Internet startup Livedoor Co.’s attempt earlier this year to take over radio firm Nippon Broadcasting System Inc.
Current law limits the combined stake held by foreign investors or firms in Japanese broadcasters to less than 20 percent in terms of voting rights.
The planned legal revisions call for adding Japanese affiliates in which foreign investors or foreign firms hold stakes to the category of investors to be regulated by the law.
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