Friday, July 13, 2007

Japanese media

A dog without a nose? So asks Michael Hoffman in an article in the Japan Times. I can answer that offhand. Yes, it is. The media is not really free to investigate much that would oppose mainstream or government beliefs. For example, the Japanese hostages and North Korea, as is discussed in the article:

..."Reporting on North Korea," Byon tells Dacapo, "is extreme, exaggerated, distorted. There is no digging, only regurgitation. Anyone who deviates even a little [from the government line] is liable to get 'bashed.' Many commentators are afraid to express their true opinions. They express instead what they feel is expected of them."...

...In the 1930s and early '40s, Dacapo hears from Rikkyo University media scholar Naoki Kadona, Japanese newspapers championed war and absolutism. The war ended, and they espoused peace and democracy. The transition was abrupt and, he feels, not entirely convincing....The full article is here.

A reflection of Japan, not the media alone. The sudden complete reversal of beliefs after the war was not and is not entirely convincing....except for those such as the long dead sugar-coater Edwin Reishauer.

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