GLOCOM Platform
debates Media Reviews Tech Reviews Special Topics Books & Journals
Summary Page
Search with Google
Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #34: April 19, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: April 19, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

NTT Pushes Down Cost of Broadband Phone Calls
From Knight Ridder via The Miami Herald: NTT Corp. has announced a service that will allow Japanese subscribers of competing Internet providers to call each other using IP telephony. The service, to be launched in May, will work over ADSL, cable-modem and fiber-optic broadband connections. Users who pay a $4.84 monthly subscription fee will be able to call, with no per-minute charges, users of any of the 100 or so service providers with whom NTT has agreements. Additionally, subscribers will be able use this technology to initiate video chats.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Hostages Released in Baghdad
From Mainichi Daily News: An Iraqi militant group has released the three Japanese civilians taken captive last week, including two journalists, according to Japanese officials. The hostages were reported to be in good condition following their release at a Baghdad mosque. The militant group, Saraya Al-Mujahideen, had threatened to burn the hostages alive unless Japan recalled its Self-Defense Forces from Iraq. Officials said the trio will leave Iraq on April 16. Meanwhile, news reports said two more Japanese civilians have been abducted in Iraq (see item below).
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Report: Another Japanese Journalist Captured
Via Bloomberg: In addition to three Japanese hostages taken in Iraq a week ago -- who were released on April 15 -- two more Japanese citizens were abducted in Abu Gharib, west of Baghdad, Agence France-Presse reports. One of the two civilians is identified as Junpei Yasuda, a freelance journalist. According to a member of Japan's House of Representatives, they were headed by taxi to the site of a helicopter crash. The present kidnappers have not been identified.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Japanese Media's Selective Coverage of Hostage Crisis Criticized
From Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Japanese media coverage of the Iraqi hostage situation is "selective," reports Mark Colvin, host of Australia's Radio National. No major Japanese TV station has shown footage of the three hostages with knives at their throats, instead showing the hostages talking with the kidnappers. Broadcasters explained that the footage is "too distressing" and might "upset the hostages' families." But the families have demanded that the media show the images: At a recent press conference, also covered by The Asahi Shimbun, the father of one abductee showed a photo of the hostage scene, shouting "Why isn't this picture being put on television? I want them to show my son is in a terrible situation!" Colvin reported that because few Japanese have seen the more shocking footage, some believe the hostage crisis is a conspiracy to remove the Self-Defense Forces from Iraq. The hostages' families, who have begged the government to take the troops away, now receive hostile phone calls.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Journalists in Iraq Urged to Leave
From AP via In light of the hostage situations, Japan's foreign ministry has "strongly advised" all Japanese journalists in Iraq to leave the country due to concerns that kidnappers may be targeting the media. Some 70 Japanese civilians are currently in Iraq, and most of them are journalists and aid workers. Since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, the government has issued warnings to its citizens about the dangers of traveling there. The latest call is an amplified version of a warning issued in January. (See also Week in Review 01.28.04.)
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications