Several leading Japanese industry figures and attorneys have established a new organization called the Entertainment Lawyers Network (ELN).

TOKYO--Several leading Japanese industry figures and attorneys have established a new organization called the Entertainment Lawyers Network (ELN).

It is the first group of its kind in Japan, where there are far fewer lawyers on a per-capita basis than in other industrialized countries.

The creation of ELN reflects the Japanese entertainment industry's increasing awareness of the need to protect copyright both domestically and overseas and to bring its practices in line with international norms.

Another reason for the network is to encourage more young Japanese lawyers to specialize in entertainment-related work.

Among those announcing the launch was Recording Industry Assn. of Japan chairman Tom Yoda, who is also chairman of indie conglomerate Avex.

"As seen in various entertainment cases in the U.S., lawyers are deeply-involved in entertainment business," says Yoda. "The Entertainment Lawyers Network is the team-up of lawyers and industrialists in content business. One of its main objects is to foster advanced specialists in entertainment business, and I believe this establishment of Network means a great deal for the healthy development of entertainment content business including music."