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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #43: June 21, 2004

Japan Media Review Update: June 21, 2004

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

The following reviews are posted at:

Leak of Yahoo BB Records Raises Privacy Fears
From The Asahi Shimbun: Yahoo BB, Japan's largest broadband Internet provider, says that call records from its Internet telephony service were stolen. A group is suspected of attempting to extort money from the company to keep the information secret. The group is alleged to have used a former employee's password to download information from as many as several million customers. "Leakage of call records is more serious than that of its customer directory," telecommunications minister Taro Aso said. "Urgent action must be taken."
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Rumors Swirl in Media Over Crown Princess' Health
From Kyodo News via Japan Today: The secrecy in Japan's royal family over the condition of Crown Princess Masako, following suggestions by the crown prince that she may have a psychological illness, has whipped up a media frenzy. According to official sources, the crown princess is taking a long retreat, and there is "no truth" to the reports of her fragile health.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Softbank, Eyeing Broadband Growth, Buys Japan Telecom
From the Los Angeles Times: With plans for "a new type of broadband service" in the works, Softbank's CEO says his company's buyout of Japan Telecom has major implications for the country's telecommunications sector. Masayoshi Son, who has been called the Bill Gates of Japan, wants to turn Japan Telecom into a dominant player in the corporate broadband world the way his company's Yahoo BB has done in the consumer market. But to do that, he will have to compete with well-established telecom firms, including NTT and KDDI.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Eric Ulken

Pressnet: Media Respect Privacy of Abductees' Children
From the June Pressnet Bulletin: The Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association (NSK) and the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan (NAB) said they agreed to respect the privacy of the five children of two Japanese couples abducted by North Korea and now living in Japan. In response to a request by the Association of Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea for sensitivity in covering the story, the two associations announced the agreement on "moderation in newsgathering and news reporting" on the children in Japan. NSK and NAB members have been criticized in the past for hounding high-profile subjects in their newsgathering. The two organizations requested that members of the Japan Magazine Publishers Association and independent media outlets follow the same guidelines for reporting on the families.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

Pressnet: Local Media Treat Hostage Crisis Delicately
Local media in Japan exercised self-regulation in their coverage of the hostage crisis in Iraq by following voluntary guidelines for press club members, Pressnet Bulletin also reports in the June edition. After a complaint about the aggressiveness of the reporting from the family of one of the hostages, local press clubs agreed to send a single reporter to talk to each family on behalf of all the organizations in the press club. The managing editor of the Hokkaido Shimbun in Sapporo, home to two of the hostages, said, "Many of our readers might see our paper as defending the hostages. But our basic position is for the protection of freedom of thought, creed and other human rights, as well as protecting human life." The managing editor of the Saitama Shimbun in Saitama Prefecture, where another of the abductees resides, said, "Everyone shares the prayer for the safety of the hostages. But we, the media, should stick to the basics of making judgments and writing articles for publication in a cool-headed manner. Otherwise, our news reports might descend into sensationalism."
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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