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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #37: May 10, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: May 10, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

GPS Cell Phones May Spur New Features and Gadgets
From via Reuters: GPS-enabled cell phones in Japan already give directions and calculate the most traffic-free route home, but mobile operators are considering new ways the navigation technology could be put to use. Japan's Cybird Co. is looking at ways to let consumers get location-specific information, like local weather reports or sale prices at nearby stores, by downloading it from their digital televisions to their cell phones. Services that have been tried and flopped in other countries, however, like cell phones that picked up coupons when the user walked past certain stores, have some mobile operators looking at location-based services with caution.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Alison Shackelford

Reporters Without Borders Criticizes Media in Japan
From Reporters Without Borders: In its annual report on the state of press freedom around the world, Reporters Without Borders criticized Japan on several fronts. The report by the press freedom advocacy group contends that recently passed privacy laws threaten the freedom of magazine reporting. It also criticizes the Japanese government for refusing to substantially reform the country's kisha club system, which excludes foreign reporters from most press conferences, among other things (see also Week in Review 02.22.04). Further, the report suggests that police were unconcerned by violence threatening reporters at The Asahi Shimbun in the 1980s, having recently closed cases without identifying suspects or making arrests.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Alison Shackelford

Opinion: Media Must Place Foreigners' Crimes in Context
From The Japan Times: The Japanese media need to put statistics in the proper context when the National Police Agency claims crimes committed by foreigners are on the rise, said Philip Brasor in his latest Media Mix column. After Chinese students admitted to killing a family in Fukuoka last year, the media played up the angle that more crimes are being committed by Chinese students in Japan. Brasor argues that the police agency has fed off such fears to create discriminatory policies and the Foreign Ministry has followed the same path with its controversial Web site for reporting illegal aliens. (See also Week in Review 03.19.04 and 04.03.04) He praises The Asahi Shimbun, however, for portraying the economic and social factors of the issue. The paper is running an ongoing series on an imprisoned Chinese student who, in a desperate attempt to maintain honor with his family, turned to crime after he couldn't find steady work to pay for college tuition in Japan.
-- By Japan Media Review Managing Editor Shellie Branco

Al-Jazeera Opens Japanese Bureau
From Agence France-Presse via Channel NewsAsia: Pan-Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera has opened a bureau in Tokyo in an effort to expand its global coverage. The bureau currently employs three people and is receiving technical assistance from NHK, Japan's public broadcaster, for its first three months of operation. The Foreign Ministry's press secretary Hatsuhisa Takashima dismissed concerns about Al-Jazeera's controversial coverage of the Iraq war, saying the Qatar-based broadcaster had helped Japan during the recent hostage crisis. Al-Jazeera is also opening bureaus in Africa and South America. (See also Week in Review 12.31.03)
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Former Hostage Defends Role of Press in War Zones
From Reuters via The New Zealand Herald: In a long-awaited press conference held by two of the Japanese citizens who were taken hostage in Iraq, former hostage and freelance photographer Soichiro Koriyama argued that journalists have a duty to take risks. Because the hostages defied government warnings to stay out of Iraq, they were at times accused of causing their own kidnapping by putting themselves in harm's way. "Precisely because it is dangerous, journalists must take the risk to tell the truth and report the news," Koriyama said at the April 30 press conference, arguing that taking "personal responsibility" was not the issue. The Asahi Shimbun chimed in with an editorial last week, saying "journalists and aid workers would be unable to fulfill their duties if they meekly followed the government advice."
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Alison Shackelford

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