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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #39: May 24, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: May 24, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

Network Briefly Banned From N. Korea Trip
From Mainichi Daily News: Intense criticism prompted the government to back away from banning a TV network's journalists from accompanying Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on a trip to North Korea. NTV, which reported May 16 on a planned humanitarian aid package for North Korea, said it was told by the prime minister's secretary that the report could have derailed the visit. NTV refused to air a retraction or reveal its sources. Koizumi's official visit to North Korea is a rare opportunity for foreign media to gain access to the isolated communist state.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

AOL Exits Japanese Market With Sale of ISP
From the Financial Times: AOL is selling its Japanese Internet service provider to eAccess for $18.4 million, leaving the Time Warner subsidiary with no operations in Japan and ending a high-profile, eight-year attempt to make a go of it there. The announcement comes about six months after AOL's domestic partner, NTT DoCoMo, sold its 40 percent stake in AOL Japan (formerly called DoCoMo AOL) back to Time Warner. (See Week in Review 12.17.03) EAccess intends to market its broadband and wireless Internet access solutions to AOL Japan's 400,000 subscribers, 350,000 of whom still use dial-up connections.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Writer: Press Too Cozy With Officials
From The New York Times: When Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi admitted that he failed to make required payments to the national pension system -- after first declaring that he had never lapsed -- press reaction was fairly muted, compared to the heavy criticism that erupted after similar revelations about two other powerful politicians. (See Week in Review 05.08.04) An explanation, writes Norimitsu Onishi, can be found in the country's exclusive press club system. Onishi describes it as an "entrenched cartel" that ensures reporting rarely deviates much from the government line. In return for their generally noncritical reporting, press club members get valuable access to government officials under the arrangement, which dates to 1890. The system has received little scrutiny in Japan, even as South Koreans attempt to rid themselves of a similar system, saying it is incompatible with democracy.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

News Anchor Swept Up in Pension Scandal
From Mainichi Daily News: Television news anchor Tetsuya Chikushi, a critic of politicians who neglected to pay into Japan's national pension system, failed to come up with the mandatory pension premiums himself. Chikushi, who anchors the program News 23 on the Tokyo Broadcasting System, apologized to viewers in a broadcast last week. "I feel ashamed because I criticized politicians," Chikushi said. He failed to pay premiums from August 1989 to June 1992.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

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