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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #70: January 25, 2005

Japan Media Review Update: January 25, 2005

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

The following reviews are posted at:

Asahi Shimbun Defends NHK Story
From The Asahi Shimbun: The Asahi Shimbun announced it is standing by its Jan. 12 story which asserted that NHK cowed to partisan political pressure. The paper ran a special page in its Jan. 18 morning Japanese-language edition. The article, which the paper says was based on "interviews with key people involved," alleged that NHK edited a program on Japanese involvement in World War II after meeting with Liberal Democratic Party members Shinzo Abe and Shoichi Nakagawa. According to Asahi, Abe and Nakagawa found the program biased and pressured the network to alter it. Abe admitted on Jan. 10 that he met with NHK officials, but denies telling them to edit the program. He maintains that he only reminded NHK executives of the importance of neutrality. Masahiko Yokoi, city news editor for The Asahi Shimbun's Tokyo office, explained that the paper reported from the perspective of "what the appropriate distance should be between the public broadcaster and the political establishment." Abe has asked for an apology for the report; NHK has demanded an apology and a printed correction. Earlier in the week Abe said he will not testify before the Diet regarding the controversy, according to The Japan Times.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Erica Ogg

Fuji TV Bids For Nippon Broadcasting
From Reuters via Yahoo News India: Fuji TV announced Monday it offered $719 million for the controlling stake in radio company Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. Fuji said it plans to raise its shareholdings from 12.4 percent to over 50 percent in order to compete more effectively in the dynamic Japanese broadcast market. Nippon Broadcasting said it agreed to the offer of 5,950 yen ($58.30) per share. Nippon Broadcasting founded and currently owns a percentage of Fuji TV, the largest private TV broadcaster in Japan. Fuji's offer would move current top Nippon Broadcasting shareholder MAC Co. into second place, with a 16.6 percent interest.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Erica Ogg

Monthly Pressnet Bulletin
Tax Hike Could Jeopardize Papers
From the January Pressnet Bulletin: A rise in Japan's consumption tax, expected to take shape after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi leaves office, will harm the newspaper industry, said NSK Chairman Shinichi Hakoshima in his New Year's message to Japanese journalists. An NSK task force released a report on the issue in December after consulting with scholars, tax and constitutional law experts, media executives and Western officials. The task force concluded that the people's access to the variety of information found in newspapers is crucial to maintaining a democratic society, and raising the tax would deter consumers from subscribing to newspapers, potentially resulting in a declining literacy rate. The task force also pointed to the example of European nations and U.S. states that do not tax or have a reduced tax for newspapers.
-- By Japan Media Review Managing Editor Shellie Branco

Monthly Pressnet Bulletin
New Privacy Laws Threaten Media Access
From the January Pressnet Bulletin: Several recent laws and regulations could inhibit access to public information, according to NSK. The Personal Information Protection Law and the Basic Law for the Protection of Crime Victims could give the green light for law enforcement officials to refuse journalists access to information about crime victims and suspects. The news media is also fighting the possible resurrection of the Human Rights Protection Bill, which was dropped in October 2003 after receiving sharp opposition for its unfair interference with reporting. There has been no progress in talks with the Defense Agency about widening media access to Japanese soldiers in Iraq, although most media organizations have moved their reporters out of Iraq. Although the European Union did not make a second call for the abolition of press clubs in its latest report on proposals for Japanese government reform, NSK also acknowledged that more must be done to create greater access for foreign reporters to attend press club news events.
-- By Japan Media Review Managing Editor Shellie Branco

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