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Journalists in Toyama Ferret Out Shady Payments to Local Legislators

Investigative reporting by local media organs was instrumental in forcing 14 Toyama municipal assembly members to resign after it was revealed that they had filed falsified expense claims. Nippon.com interviewed the key journalists who covered the scandal—and who hope that citizens will henceforth pay more attention to local government affairs.

How the Media Shaped Sumō’s Modern TraditionsJames Singleton

Sumō boasts an impressive history that by some accounts stretches back 2,000 years. Nearly every aspect of the sport—from the dress and customs of wrestlers to the elaborate rituals performed at tournaments—appears to date from antiquity. However, many facets of sumō familiar to fans today emerged in modern times. Waseda University Professor Lee Thompson, during a recent talk at the Internation…

Seeking the True State of Online OpinionKimura Tadamasa

Online discourse is often disproportionately represented by a repetitive stream of extremist comments. To determine what online opinion really is, it is necessary to take a closer look.

The Internet, Media, and Public Opinion in JapanKimura Tadamasa

A Japanese perspective on media in the Internet age, considering how public opinion is formed today.

Australian Students Visit Nippon.com as Part of Media and Politics ProgramNippon.com Staff

On September 6, Nippon.com was honored to host members of the Australian National University’s inaugural Media and Politics in Japan study tour. ANU Associate Lecturer James Giggacher and nine ANU undergraduate students traveled to Japan on a two-week program to explore how Japanese media engages with national and local political issues. They were joined on the tour by a group from Ritsumeikan Uni…

Between Consenting Adults: Japan’s Incongruous Celebrity Sex ScandalsSechiyama Kaku

In the first few months of 2016, Japan’s weekly scandal sheets blew the lid off the sexual affairs of several well-known figures, forcing them to withdraw from public life. Comparative sociologist Sechiyama Kaku questions this ritual of public shaming for behavior that the law regards as a matter of private discretion.

The “Inconvenient Truth” Behind Japan’s Toothless MediaOkumura Nobuyuki

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Takaichi Sanae caused a stir in February with a comment that broadcasters continuing to air politically biased programs may be shut down. Pressure from the Abe administration continues to mount, but the media has been hesitant to fight back.

The Polarization of the Japanese Media and the Need for Middle GroundSatō Takumi

Japanese newspapers are said to have become polarized in their coverage of controversial issues like the recent national security legislation. How does their current approach compare with their stance in 1960, when renewal of the Japan-US security treaty split the nation? And what is their role in the age of the Internet, where people are unlikely to seek content that conflicts with their own opinions?

Nikkei Stirs Global Media Waters in Acquiring the Financial Times

Nikkei Inc., the publisher of the country’s leading business newspaper, announced in July it was purchasing time-honored British publication the Financial Times. The acquisition marks the first time for a Japanese company to take over a foreign media operation. Nikkei now joins leading European and US media companies in turning to acquisitions and corporate restructurings to meet the challenges of…

Words to Worry About: The Danger of Media Bias in OkinawaRobert D. Eldridge

A great public debate has erupted recently about the role of the media in Japan: the nation as a whole, more broadly, and specifically about the plight of the “embattled” Okinawan media. In fact, though, the local media in Okinawa is very much at the center and in many cases the cause of this controversy, due to its biased reporting and something I call “miss-information.” Biased reporting is of …

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