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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #12: October 14, 2003

Japan Media Review Update: October 14, 2003

JMR Staff (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California)

Professor: Japanese, American Media Need to Work on Accuracy History professor Toshi Minohara was thrown into the media spotlight over his controversial plans to teach students about the Japanese military. His complaints about the media mirror those voiced around the world: Journalists focus on the negative, exaggerate and get the facts wrong.
- By Keiko Mori and Alison Shackelford.

The Future of News in Japan Rapid changes in Japanese politics could make for big changes in how journalists operate in Japan. Reporters' cozy relations with politicians -- and their resulting reluctance to publish unflattering reports -- may soon give way to a more independent press.
- By Ellis S. Krauss

Anti-Semitic Articles and Books Not Uncommon in Japan
With only about 2,000 Jews living in Japan, the Japanese have little firsthand experience with Jewish culture, but they have a great interest in books and articles on the subject. Whole sections of bookstores are devoted to books on Jews -- many of them anti-Semitic.

The above piece and other related materials are found in Japan Media Review (


The following briefs are posted at:

Commentary: Web-based campaigns for Japan?
While the Public Offices Election Law will be amended to allow Japanese political parties to distribute manifestos in brochure form, the more urgent reform in campaign rules is to permit use of the Internet, The Asahi Shimbun reports. In the United States and South Korea, the Internet has proven to be a powerful medium to gain support for presidential and congressional campaigns. Yet, Web-based campaigning is illegal in Japan where more than 50 million people use the Internet. All major political parties have their own Web sites to report their political activity and Diet deliberations are frequently presented on live Webcasts in Japan. Two years ago the Democratic Party of Japan suggested that the ban Internet campaigning should be ended. Opponents within the Liberal Democratic Party are concerned that use of the Internet could encourage slander. Last year, the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications reported that the Web would serve as a good communication tool for candidates to describe their political positions in more detail. The study also suggested that a Web-based campaign would be cost-effective, compared to traditional telephone campaigns.
- Keiko Mori, Zhen Wang

Student-run Internet station plans awards ceremony
From Daily Yomiuri: The Internet television channel, Medista, at the Institute of Media and Communications Research, Keio University, is planning an "Internet Content Festa" at the University's annual festival. The aim of this event is to collect programs made by students from all over Japan and air the awards function live online. The station started broadcasting in April 2002, with the mission to "report on the here and now from a student perspective." It airs around 60 programs and undertakes a major broadcast, such as a report from abroad, once a month. Students are responsible for the entire operation from planning, to production and delivery.
- Keiko Mori

Yomiuri starts its electronic edition worldwide Via Pressnet:
The Yomiuri Shimbun started distributing electronic versions of Japanese daily papers in major cities around the world this month. The electronic edition of Yomiuri contains 28 pages printed in black-and-white in A3-sized. It is a mix of special pages from its satellite-transmitted edition for overseas subscribers and the main sections from the Yomiuri Shimbun daily edition. Circulation is estimated to reach a total of 2,000 hotels, bookstores and other sites in 55 countries. The price differs by geographic location. In the United States, for instance, the paper costs two dollars. A Yomiuri official in charge of the project commented: "We are receiving inquiries from business people planning to make overseas trips asking us where they can get the Yomiuri Shimbun." This electronic delivery is a cooperative venture between NewspaperDirect in Canada and its Japanese agent, Konica Business Machine, in Tokyo. The Yomiuri transmit PDF files of its newspaper pages to NewspaperDirect's servers on daily basis, and the date will be transmitted to ND's "print stations" in major public transport facilities, hotels and bookstore worldwide.
- Keiko Mori

Japanese baseball team scores home run with Weblog
From Daily Yomiuri: The Hanshin Tigers professional baseball team, on a winning spree, has grabbed the attention of many fans due to a popular Weblog, featured in its official Web site. The number of monthly visitors to the site increased from 290,000 in April to 1.5 million in August. The site features a blog, Tora no Iji (Tiger's Pride), written by the team's batting coach, Yutaka Wada. The blog averaged 50,000 hits a day in August and boasts of more than 4.35 million hits since January. Wada believes that the blog is an effective way for fans to communicate with the team. Wada said, "I've been able to continue the blog because fans look forward to it. I hope it will be a link between the fans and the team."
- Keiko Mori

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