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Bbc World Service

Volume 174: debated on Monday 18 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the reasons for his approval of the BBC's decision to end World Service broadcasts in Japanese and Malay.

The BBC and the FCO have jointly reviewed new broadcasting opportunities against the effectiveness of world service output. It was agreed, subject to the outcome of the 1990 public expenditure survey, to increase broadcasts in Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Vietnamese, as well as programmes in English for south-east Asia, the Indian sub-continent and west Europe.The review identified offsetting savings, including the ending of broadcasts in Japanese and Malay. In both countries, audiences for these services are small and there are many other sources of news and information from Britain, including the world service in English.