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Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

  • You don’t usually think about keeping up with the news when you’re traveling, but the more we thought about it, the use case actually makes sense for a fairly large set of travelers (business and those who need to check in to current events). Of course, there’s an app for that!


    ■Portable News (iOS)

    ■Portable News (Android)

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    While it’s fairly common to have international news broadcasts available in hotels aimed at global travelers, most places where you’ll stay in Japan outside of foreigner friendly hotels will have the local Japanese stations and not much else. That’s great for taking in local culture (and seeing crazy commercials), but not so great for keeping up with what’s happening in the world. Japan doesn’t have its own 24-hour news channel, and what you currently get is very much focused on Japan and not much else except for a passing mention.

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Even in the larger hotels, most of what you’ll come across is for an English-centric audience, namely CNN and the BBC, and their international versions at that. Smaller places, or Airbnb-type lodgings may have nothing at all! There hasn’t been much of a way to watch your own local news, especially as a business traveler or someone who needs to keep up with current events. This can be a bit frustrating.

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    It may seem a bit like a niche need to fill, but there are some options that have come out for getting your local news (or news from anywhere in multiple languages) without having to stream small clips from a news site, especially one you don’t understand. Japan’s main satellite service provider, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, has used their global network to put together the live streams of major broadcasting stations into a single app called Portable News, delivering news 24 hours a day, and it’s actually free to use as well. Not only that, but it even works in multiple languages when they’re supported, meaning that you can watch some single stations in up to twelve different languages, all live.

    ■Portable News (iOS)

    ■Portable News (Android)

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Right now they support seven channels and thirteen languages, and stations ranging from France to Indonesia and Qatar. It’s also pretty straightforward, as you just need to download the app, choose your language, and then choose whatever station you want. Given that it’s live-streamed local news from across the world, it’s actually pretty impressive how quickly the content loads, and that the app design is so simple (pick a station and watch it) as to feel like having satellite access pretty much anywhere.

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Of course, one of the main drawbacks to television news in general is the inability to select specific clips, but is that actually a negative point? From a news-consuming perspective, the most popular news websites make it far too easy to just choose the news you want to watch and ignore the news that makes you uncomfortable. After years of handpicking our news (and ignoring what we don’t want to hear about) we had actually forgotten the feeling of having different perspectives put in front of us. We actually missed it.

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Portable News is planning on adding more African, Asian, and North American stations, and diversifying into more entertainment-focused areas like a Club TV channel focused on global music and venues. There isn’t Japanese news on the app yet, but there are also plans to add push notifications about Japanese natural disasters, which would make it pretty much the only way to get live, portable information during an earthquake or weather warnings in your native language while you’re traveling.

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    Watch Global News Anytime During Your Trip to Japan

    While you probably don’t go on holiday to watch the news, this is especially useful for business travelers from pretty much anywhere in the world, but is also a handy tool to have for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s happening, especially when it’s critical to know.

    ■Portable News (iOS)

    ■Portable News (Android)

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