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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 14:36 02/12/2008
News Review #432: February 12, 2008

Komura Vows Bigger Role for Japan in U.N. Peacekeeping Effort

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Komura Vows Bigger Role for Japan in U.N. Peacekeeping Effort
The Japan Times (2/12/2008)

Japanese FM Vows to Strengthen Ties with China
China View (2/10/2008)


It is reported in the Japan Times article linked above that Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura delivered a speech at a multinational security conference in Munich that Japan is considering a permanent law for the overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to play a greater role in U.N. peacekeeping operations. While there is nothing new in his statement about that topic, one interesting contrast may be worth mentioning. That is the part of his speech concerning Japan's relations with China.

According to this Japan Times article, Mr. Komura has reportedly "urged China to ensure transparency in the composition of its sharply expanding military expenses to foster regional stability and warned that lack of such transparency may result in increased regional concern," although he appreciated China's constructive role in the six party talks dealing with North Korea. On the other hand, "China View" (see the second article linked above) reports, from the Chinese viewpoint, that "Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Sunday that Japan is committed to further enhancing its relations with China," without mentioning at all Japan's concern over the lack of transparency in China's military buildup, so clearly reported in the Japanese media.

This kind of fundamental discrepancies in media reporting between Japan and China has been pointed out more and more often these days, leading to losing credibility in mass media reporting on Japan-China relations on both sides. More efforts should be done by both the Japanese and Chinese media to report not just subjectively selected one-sided stories but more objectively edited comprehensive stories for the sake of readers as well as for restoring credibility of the media themselves.

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

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