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Gen. Nicholson’s press conference draws criticism and praise online

Japan’s Twitter users have reacted sharply to yesterday’s press conference by Okinawa Area Coordinator Nicholson on the Osprey accident, with detractors criticizing his remarks for being not apologetic at all and instead defending the pilot for not endangering the Okinawa people. They said the people in Okinawa were offended by his narrative, which one observer described as a “public relations disaster.” According to Yahoo Realtime analytics, 40% of tweets contained negative language about Nicholson, such as “upset,” “regrettable,” and “unreasonable.” One tweet attempted to explain what Nicholson did wrong in terms of public relations by saying: “Mr. Nicholson made the mistake of delivering a message to a Japanese audience that should have only been directed toward his subordinates or the American people.”


However, a number of Twitter users also defended Nicholson’s response to the accident. In fact, the most shared (over 1,200 times) tweet was: “I think Mr. Nicholson is a great supervisor. He apologized for what needed to be apologized for, but instead of being swayed by the mood, he said what he needed say to defend his courageous subordinate unabashedly. His subordinate must trust him.”

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