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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 17:44 05/01/2007
News Review #392: April 27, 2007

Bush Hosting Japanese Prime Minister Abe

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Bush Hosting Japanese Prime Minister Abe
Washington Post (4/26/2007)

Sex Slave Issue Unlikely to Mar Abe's U.S. Visit
ABC News (4/26/2007)


Japanese Prime Minister Abe's visit to the U.S. seems to be carefully watched by the U.S. media, because this is Mr. Abe's first U.S. visit as prime minister, and also because there are some ongoing problems concerning Japan such as the U.S. beef import issue and the "sex slave" issue heavily reported in the U.S. In fact, quite a few newspaper articles focus on a single issue in relation to Mr. Abe's visit (e.g., the "sex slave" issue is exclusively taken up in the ABC News article listed above).

Compared to such single-issue articles, the Washington Post article listed above is much better balanced in that the overall U.S.-Japan relationship is characterized as "strong," and Japan as a good "partner" in dealing with Iraq and North Korea. Needless to say, some friction between the two countries is mentioned in the article, but even that part is fairly well balanced, as it refers not only to such problems as U.S. beef import and "sex enslavement," but also to a "soft" U.S. stance, as seen by Japanese conservatives, on the North Korea nuclear talks.

It might be said, however, that even this article is not "perfectly" balanced as it fails to mention a perception gap between the two countries regarding the North Korea abduction issue, and does not use the quotation mark for the expression "sexual enslavement," while using it for the expression "soft U.S. stance." In fact, whether Mr. Abe's U.S. visit can be regarded as a success from the viewpoint of the Japanese media depends on the result of his appeal to President Bush and the American public regarding the importance of the abduction issue and the sincerity of his attitude toward the "sex slave" issue (or the "comfort women" issue, as often referred to in Japan).

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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