Japan is a country of strong regional identities. Reinforced by the annual migrations back to hometowns during the New Year and O-bon (mid-August) holidays, Japanese people typically have a strong sense of where they originally came from, their furusato (home village). Strong regional identities coexist with strong local culture: there are many local festivals, regional specialities (virtually every town has a characteristic food, or gift, omiyage) and dialects. Strong local media production exists, too. The circulations of some regional newspapers, such as the Hokkaidō shinbun and Nishi nihon shinbun (1.24 million and 850,000 in 1999 respectively), match some of the English-speaking world’s major papers, such as The New York Times and The Times of London (1.11 million and 721,000 in 2003 respectively) (Asahi shinbunsha 2005:249; Fujitake 2000:38-42). Television broadcasting is through regional affiliates of the main networks, and all the terrestrial channels (except NHK-Educational) typically have around two or three hours a day of prefectural level news and programming.