From the Editor

Back to Contents of Issue: December 2003

The Editor's page

by The Editors

This issue brings to mind the title of American writer Grace Paley's brilliant short story collection, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute. It's the end of another year, a time for travel and touching base with family and friends. But, at least here in Japan, there are lots of bright beginnings to celebrate.

Digital Television (DTV) looms on the near horizon. Our feature story explores the history of the super-sharp medium and provides an in-depth assessment of the Japanese government's plan to banish all analog broadcasts by 2011. The first land-based DTV transmissions begin at the start of this month. (Expect analog broadcasts to become the new retro-hip technology eight fast years from now.)

Also this month: The publication of J@pan Inc contributor Jeff Funk's latest tech tome, Mobile Disruption, an inside look at the future of the mobile Internet that reveals how greater speed and power will transform your telephone. Funk offers a preview of his book to prepare us for yet another revolution driven by Japanese innovation. And in a related story, John Alderman meets a visionary Canadian-Japanese Tokyo entrepreneur offering health care via keitai.

For the holidays, we take you shopping for companions you can hold in your hands. Robopets are a peculiarly Japanese phenomenon for now, but manufacturers are releasing cuter and more user-friendly models in the hope of reaching a worldwide market.

Not cold enough for you? Head to Hokkaido with us for some futuristic frozen sushi -- perfect for these last-minute days.

-- The Editors

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