DVD Regions & their video systems

I’m a bit confused by the DVD regions and the video system that they output.

How is is that France & Japan are in Region 2?
Region 2 discs are in PAL. Yet Japan uses NTSC and France uses SECAM.

Are there SECAM and NTSC region 2 dvds?

France is relatively easy to explain. The fact that they use SECAM just doesn’t matter for the DVD’s themselves. As long as the video stream encoded on the DVD has the right number of lines and the right frame rate, the player can use electronics to take care of the rest of the incompatibilities. SECAM and PAL both use 525 lines, 50 fields per second, so they can share media. You just need a special wacky French player in France. But they would probably do that anyway, so it’s no big deal.

Why Japan is in region 2 beats me though.

The DVD regions don’t really have anything to do with video systems. Rather, they are an artificial marketing incompatibility to allow the movie stidios to stagger release dates of DVDs across the world.

From the DVD FAQ, section 1.10:

There’s a map. Notice that Zone 2 (Europe and Middle East, but also South Africa, Japan, and Greenland) contains multiple incompatible TV systems. Notice also that the NTSC TV system system is used in both North America (Zone 1) and Japan (Zone 2).

Let’s encourage artists and producers to make DVDs that can be played in any zone.

Why is China its own region?