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The TV has long been the dominant media source in Japan, but people here, especially younger ones, are now apparently opting to spend more time online instead, according to a recent survey by NHK.

The latest survey on people’s attitudes toward TV, which is conducted every five years by NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, says the number of people who watch TV for 30 minutes to two hours daily or “short-time viewers” increased. “Long-time viewers” — those who watch for four hours or more a day — decreased for the first time since the poll began in 1985.

Respondents were asked how many hours they watch TV daily. Viewing on public holidays and watching DVDs was excluded.

The survey, released last week, says that the number of short-time viewers was 35 percent in 2010 but that increased to 38 percent this year. The ration for those who don’t watch TV at all also grew to 6 percent from 4 percent.

The number of long-time viewers was at 37 percent, down from 40 percent five years ago.

By age, people in their 20s to 50s are watching less TV, while those in their 60s and 70s are spending more time watching their favorite programs.

The decline in TV viewing is apparently connected to the Internet, as younger people like to watch videos that way.

Still, the poll shows that more than 80 percent of people in all age groups think having a TV is necessary.

NHK surveyed 3,600 people across the country who were 16 years old or older in February and March, and received valid answers from 2,442 of them.

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