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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #27: March 1, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: March 1, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

NTV in Hot Water Again; This Time Over Inaccurate Consumer Report
From Mainichi Shimbun: The Nippon Television Network (NTV) apologized Feb. 23 to Japanese toy manufacturer Konami after accusations that the station portrayed a toy inaccurately in a news report. The news program "Kyou no Dekigoto" (Today's Event) reported Feb. 5 that many children pinched their fingers in toys made by Tomy, another toy manufacturer. The clip actually depicted a child playing with a Konami toy. An NTV producer apologized in a letter, saying, "We deeply regret that our picture, in the negative content of the news, resulted to create a misunderstanding." Scandals have plagued the network within the past six months, including accusations raised last week about subliminal images inserted in a game show. In October an NTV producer was accused of manipulating ratings for his variety shows, and it was discovered in November that a news segment about lobster fishing had been staged.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Banking Chairman Pleads Guilty to Wiretapping Reporters
From The Japan Times: In his first court session at the Tokyo District Court, the former chairman of consumer lending company Takefuji Corp. pleaded guilty Feb. 24 to ordering the wiretapping of two investigative journalists. Yasuo Takei first violated the Telecommunications Business Law by ordering an employee to bug freelance journalist Shunsuke Yamaoka's home phone from December 2000 to February 2001. Yamaoka previously wrote an article accusing Takei of involvement in stock manipulation. Then Takei ordered the same employee to wiretap the phone of another investigative reporter who wrote of an alleged scandal about the company's losses from stock transactions. "What my indictment says is true," Takei said. "I bear a grave responsibility for ordering (the wiretaps)."
-- By Japan Media Review Contributing Writer Sunny Yu

Survey: Many Parents Unaware of Internet's Dark Side
From The Daily Yomiuri: A recent survey by the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Association of Japan shows that many parents are unaware of the negative impacts of the Internet on their children. The results of the survey were presented during the Tokyo Conference on the Internet and Children on Jan. 24. According to the results of the survey, conducted with around 6,000 elementary and middle school students and about 4,800 parents, only 15 percent of parents were familiar with how the Internet works. Some 70 percent didn't know that filtering software exists for adult-oriented sites. The results also showed that 12 percent of parents were ignorant of adult Web sites. The Daily Yomiuri reported that the survey shows a gap in what parents think their children are accessing on the Net and what children are really viewing.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Japan, EU Agree to Improve Japan's Press Club System
From The Japan Times: Japan will make efforts to improve its press club system by giving foreign media better access to government-provided news, the European Union and Japan said Feb. 20 in Brussels. This is in response to the EU's request that Japan eliminate the "kisha" club system, which is criticized as being a closed system that is unfair to foreign news reporters. Makita Shimokawa of the Japanese Foreign Ministry said that the government and The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association would work to allow foreign journalists into news conferences provided by press clubs. The association said in December that the EU's position was based on misunderstanding and cultural bias.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Human Rights Group Protests Government Site for Reporting Illegal Aliens
From The Asahi Shimbun: Japan's Ministry of Justice is being criticized for a part of its Web site that allows the public to report information about illegal aliens. Amnesty International Japan accused the ministry of violating human rights, claiming the site could cause racial discrimination toward foreigners. Requiring only the informant's age and prefecture, the site solicits detailed personal information on possible illegal foreigners and passes it on to about 100 regional immigration bureaus. Asahi reported that several people have disclosed information about suspected illegal foreign residents since the site's launch Feb. 16. One ministry official said reports will be well investigated and information will not be "leaked," Asahi added. The site is part of a government plan to cut by half the estimated 250,000 illegal residents within five years. But Japanese humanitarian groups are concerned that the site could hamper humanitarian activities for undocumented foreigners.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Zhen Wang

It's No "Pulitzer," but War Reporters Earn Special Award
From Pressnet: The screening committee for Japan's version of the Pulitzer Prize announced there is no winner for 2003, but special prizes would be given to three independent broadcast journalists for their coverage of the war in Iraq. These are the first special prizes given in the history of the Vaughan-Ueda Memorial Prize, according to The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association. The winners are Kazutaka Sato and Mika Yamamoto of Japan Press, and Takeharu Watai of Asia Press International. The reporters arrived in Iraq before the breakout of the war and continued to report there even after other Japanese reporters left. Watai used a small video camera to report conditions in Baghdad to the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), TV Asahi and wire service Kyodo News. Sato, a veteran news reporter, teamed up with Yamamoto and reported for the Nippon Television Network (NTV), Sankei Shimbun and Nikkan Gendai. The Vaughan-Ueda Memorial Prize was created in 1950, modeled on the Pulitzer Prize in the United States. It is awarded annually to a journalist whose reporting contributed to global understanding.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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