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Short takes from the monthlies

  • 2015-01-15 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

 Infographic from opinion poll in Taiwan

 [Voice, February 2015 issue, p. 21]

 

 

Country

20-29 years old

30-39 years old

40-49 years old

50-64 years old

65-80 years old

Japan

54%

50%

37%

36%

39%

Singapore

2

3

11

10

9

U.S.

7

4

7

9

9

Mainland China

3

3

7

11

9

Australia

5

4

6

5

3

Switzerland

2

2

5

4

7

Canada

2

2

6

3

4

France

3

4

3

1

2

South Korea

4

2

1

2

1

Europe (countries unspecified), Scandinavia, European Union

2

2

1

2

Asia

70%

67%

59%

64%

60%

Europe

12

18

17

14

21

Americas

9

6

14

12

13

Oceania

8

6

10

10

5

 Asahi & NHK

 [WiLL, February 2015 issue, pp. 22-23]

 

o “When I was a director of the 9 o’clock evening news program, I used to read carefully the Asahi Shimbun every morning. All of the staff came to work, keeping the Asahi’s tone of argument in mind to produce the program for the day. That’s because if we happened to produce a program that veered from the Asahi’s tone, the powers that be would come down from upstairs. They would chide us, saying, ‘It’s different from the Asahi!’ So we had to handle any news in the same way as the Asahi does. All directors did so. One of them messed up, and he was packed off to a local branch.” (a one-time NHK TV news director, quoted in Yasunosuke Kudan’s “Nagatacho Confidential” column)

 

 “Media’s suicide”

 [WiLL, February 2015 issue, pp. 28-29]

 

o In recent years, the Asahi Shimbun has often had someone outside speak for it, rather than having its editorial staff write its own opinions. (Koyu Nishimura, from his “Media Scramble” column)

 

o One editor in chief for the Asahi once wrote that “Japan should give up the Takeshima Islands.” This provoked a strong backlash from readers. Besides, the Asahi’s level has declined. The Asahi was probably unable to accept criticism from readers and the decline in its reputation. (Nishimura)

 

o The Liberal Democratic Party requested in writing of NHK and key commercial TV stations that they impartially report on last year’s general election for the House of Representatives. But journalists who can be described as strange protested against the LDP’s request. These journalists were criticized. However, the Asahi never wrote about such criticism. (Nishimura)

 

 Counterpart

 [WiLL, February 2015 issue, p. 49]

 

o “Japan’s foreign minister is vested with policy-planning functions. When I was a diplomat, however, I was always wondering why his Chinese counterpart is China’s foreign minister. China’s foreign minister is one of 200 Central Committee members. Moreover, China’s ministry of foreign affairs is not vested with policy-planning authority. The Chinese counterpart of Japan’s foreign minister should be at least a State Councillor, currently Yang Jiechi.” (Kunihiko Miyake, research director at the Canon Institute for Global Studies)

 

 For the Asahi Shimbun

 [Seiron, February 2015 issue, p. 51]

 

o “The Asahi Shimbun is a private business, and it’s a top-ranking media outlet representing our country in the prewar and postwar days. However, the Asahi Shimbun has thrown Japan-ROK relations and the world into confusion as a consequence of falsifying its reports on the comfort women issue. The Asahi Shimbun must apologize to the international community, and the Asahi Shimbun will also have to make efforts to clear up the misunderstandings among the international community. If the Asahi Shimbun does not try to do so, Prime Minister Abe, as the leader of Japan, may want to apologize to the world on behalf of the Asahi Shimbun.” (Koichi Hagiuda, chief deputy secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and special advisor to the LDP president, interviewed by the magazine)

 

o “To apologize in the Asahi Shimbun’s stead, I am willing to visit South Korea when necessary, and I’d like to talk with South Korean officials.” (Hagiuda)

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