Merger talks between International Telecom Japan, ITJ, and International Digital Corporation, IDC, have been formally abandoned, leaving the two consortia to file for separate licences to operate an alternative international telecommunications service in Japan. This means that the way is now open for the two consortia to be awarded two separate licences, given that prime minister Yasihiro Nakasone’s has formally annonced that the Japanese government sees no objection to two licences being granted, and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, MPT, the body behind the proposed merger, has little amunition left to stave off unwanted overseas competition. The Cable and Wireless and C Itoh-led-IDC consortia submitted a compromise proposal at the end of July, which proposed that the two consortia merge but that a separate company be formed to operate IDC’s planned fibre optic PPAC trans-Pacific cable, in which it would take managerial control. ITJ, on the other hand, wants simply to lease capacity from existing monopoly international international telecoms operator Kokusai Denshin Denwa. Both consortia are now preparing their separate licence applications.