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Global Telecoms Business
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Japan Telecom: emerging into NTT's main competitor

01 October 1999

Japan Telecom was founded in 1984 as one of the new long-distance carriers. Following a merger with International Japan Telecom in 1997, it began to offer international services. In 1999 it entered into a strategic agreement with British Telecom and AT&T. The president of Japan Telecom, Haruo Murakami, talks to Basil Ballhatchet about developments.

Japan Telecom was formed in 1984 as a long-distance carrier from the former Japanese National Railways, as Japan began to deregulate its telecoms sector. In August 1986 the operator was the first company to introduce leased circuit services between Tokyo and Osaka. In November 1992 it completed work on its nation-wide digital network, composed primarily of fibre-optic cables. In September 1994 the company's shares began to be traded publicly on the second sections of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange. In September 1996 the shares were listed on the first sections of these exchanges.

In October 1997 the operator pioneered a new era of reform in Japanese telecoms through a merger with International Telecom Japan. As a seamless carrier of domestic and international services, it became the main challenger to NTT. In April 1999 Japan Telecom consolidated its position as the number one alternative carrier to NTT by entering into a strategic...