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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #19: December 17, 2003

Japan Media Review Update: December 17, 2003

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

The following reviews are posted at:

Japanese Journalism Association Rebuffs EU Calls to Nix "Unfair" Press Clubs
From The Japan Times: The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association last week defended Japan's "press club" system, saying the European Union's criticism of the system is "based on misunderstanding, biases and misperception of facts." The EU last year asked Japan to abolish the press club system, saying it is an unfair barrier to free trade of information.
In Japan, most press conferences aren't open to all journalists: Instead, every official agency has a press club, and only reporters who are members of each press club can attend press conferences held by each agency. Only journalists from one of 20 or so major domestic media outlets are admitted to most of Japan's press clubs. Often freelancers and foreign media aren't allowed to join.
In a statement released Dec. 10, the association said Japan's press club system helps journalists get information from "reluctant" government sources. Officials said the association will work to make press clubs more open to all reporters.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Software Resizes Adobe Acrobat, Other Files for Cell Phone Screens
From CNETAsia: Japanese electronics company Sharp has developed a new program that allows cell phone users to view business documents created in Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The Electronic Document Display System converts and trims documents for tiny cell phone screens. It also includes zoom-in and zoom-out viewing. BitFlash, a Canadian company, helped develop the software, which will be available on the new Sharp phone sold through Vodafone in Japan.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Bank Chairman Who Admitted Wiretapping Resigns
From The Japan Times: The founder and chairman of a major Japanese loan company resigned this week after admitting he ordered subordinates to wiretap a freelance journalist's phone. "The series of wiretaps under investigation by law enforcement authorities was carried out under my order, and I take full responsibility and deeply apologize," Yasuo Takei said in a letter read at a news conference at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Takei was arrested Dec. 2. Takefuji Corp. had earlier denied Takei was involved; officials said the company had no knowledge of the wiretapping, which allegedly took place from December 2000 to February 2001. Takei may also be charged in connection with another wiretapping incident involving another journalist.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Shellie Branco

Survey: Most Japanese Fear Personal Information Is Leaked Online
From The Japan Times: According to the Japanese Cabinet Office's recent survey on the protection of personal information, 69 percent of Japanese are concerned that their personal information could be leaked from public administrations and private corporations. An overwhelming number of the 3,000 respondents attributed their fears to both the rapid growth of the Internet and the increased use of computers to store personal information. The survey results also indicate that people in their 20s and 30s are especially concerned about unauthorized disclosure of information. The percentage of people who expressed distrust went up from 39.8 percent since a similar survey conducted in 1989, despite a privacy protection law passed in May. More than 61 percent worried that their personal information is collected without their knowledge, compared with some 40 percent in the previous survey. Many mentioned they doubt private firms protect their personal information. Others said they think companies deal with personal data without "sufficient care."
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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