The government will consider easing shareholding limits among media organizations to help boost the capital strength of Japanese broadcasters and increase their global competitiveness, a senior communications ministry official indicated Monday.

Vice Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Shogo Hayashi expressed the intention to relax the ministry ordinance that prohibits a media organization from controlling a number of broadcasters through shareholdings. The rule is intended to maintain diversity of expression.

The move for deregulation comes as the government aims to help create comprehensive media groups with strong capital bases that can survive international competition before the full-fledged advent of digital broadcasting, analysts said.

The ministry will consider “easing (the rule) further from the perspectives of strengthening broadcasters’ management bases and prompting enrichment of their broadcasting content,” Hayashi told a news conference.

The ministry prohibits a media outlet from holding a stake exceeding 10 percent in more than one broadcaster in the same region while also banning a media organization from having a stake exceeding 20 percent in two or more broadcasters on a nationwide basis.

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