Looking for substantiation of change in editorial bent at Japan Today etc. after acquisition by right-wing Fuji Media Holdings

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Hi Blog.  On the road at the moment, got a quick question for you:

Following the recent acquisition of GPlus Media by right-wing media conglomerate Fuji Media Holdings, I’ve been hearing murmurs about changes in editorial policy over at Japan Today (and Gaijin Pot) of deletion of comments that are critical of the Japanese government etc.

Let’s try to go beyond murmur.  I have a reporter who would like some substantiation for an article.  Has anyone saved copies of their critical comments that were deleted?  Or if you comment there from now (keep your comments sane, please), could you keep an eye on it? (Screen captures would be nice.)  Please let Debito.org know.  Thanks.

Brief entry for today.  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

UPDATE JUNE 29, 2015:  Proof of Fuji Media Holdings’ editorial bent:

Fuji TV apologizes for subtitles inaccurately quoting South Koreans

BY TOMOHIRO OSAKI STAFF WRITER, JUN 29, 2015

Fuji TV apologized Monday for running subtitles during a show earlier this month that inaccurately described South Koreans interviewed on the street as saying they “hate” Japan.

The apology came after online criticism mounted over the weekend, with people saying the major broadcaster may have fabricated the subtitles to breed anti-Korea sentiment among the Japanese public.

When contacted by The Japan Times on Monday, Fuji TV denied such an allegation, explaining that the subtitles were simply a result of human error during the editing process and that there was absolutely no malice intended.

The show, “Akira Ikegami Kinkyu Special,” which translates as “Akira Ikegami Emergency (or Urgent) Special,” aired on June 5, a few weeks ahead of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and South Korea.

Moderated by popular freelance journalist Akira Ikegami, the program featured a segment about “why Koreans hate the Japanese so much.”

Among people interviewed on the streets of Seoul was a high school girl, who, according to the subtitles, said, “I hate Japan because it tormented Korea.”

However, she can be heard saying in Korean: “(South Korea) has a rich culture. I think that’s why many foreigners visit us.”

Another, a man in his 30s, was also misrepresented. According to the subtitles, he expressed “hatred” for this country, when in fact he was only criticizing what he called Japan’s lack of remorse for its wartime atrocities.

Rest at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/06/29/national/social-issues/fuji-tv-apologizes-subtitles-inaccurately-quoting-south-koreans/
ENDS

フジテレビ字幕ミス、自国を語る韓国女性を「日本嫌い」
スポーツ報知 6月30日(火)7時4分配信, courtesy of BM
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150630-00000001-sph-soci

フジテレビは29日、5日に放送された特別番組「池上彰 緊急スペシャル!」で韓国人へのインタビューを放送した際、字幕と実際の映像が異なっていたと発表しおわびの文章を公式サイトに掲載した。番組では、韓国の女性が自国について語っている映像に合わせて「(日本のことが)嫌いですよ」などという字幕を付けて放送。同局は、編集作業のミスが原因だとしている。

韓国語を理解できる人であれば、一発で「何かおかしい」と気付く大きなミスが、番組内で起きていたことが明らかになった。

フリージャーナリストの池上彰さん(64)が、世間で話題となっているニュースについて、独自の視点から解説するのが人気の特別番組。2011年9月に第1回が放送され、その後も不定期に11回が制作されている。今回は、日本と韓国との問題を解説する「知ってるようで知らない韓国のナゾ」がテーマだった。

同局によると、韓国女性が日本について「嫌いですよ、だって韓国を苦しめたじゃないですか」と語ったとする字幕が流れた。だが、実際には「文化がたくさんある。だから、外国の人がたくさん訪問してくれているようだ」と、自国を好きな理由を話していた。

また、韓国の男性が「日本人にはいい人もいますが、国としては嫌いです」と語ったとする場面では、「過去の歴史を反省せず、そういう部分が私はちょっと」と話していたという。26日に視聴者からの指摘で判明。その後も、複数の問い合わせがきているという。

原因について、同局は「編集作業上のミス」と説明。2人ともインタビュー中に字幕の内容通りの発言をしていたが、編集の段階で別のことについて話している部分の映像を使用してしまったとしている。また、番組が完成した後に内容をチェックする際には、韓国語を理解できるスタッフが立ち会っていなかったため、ミスに気付かなかった。

同局は「視聴者の皆様、インタビューにご協力頂いた方、ならびに関係者の皆様におわび申し上げます」とコメント。池上さんにも事情の報告と謝罪をした。池上さんは「番組の制作には自分もかかわっているが、VTRに関してはスタッフを信頼して任せていた。視聴者に対して申し訳ない」と話していたという。

=======================================

フジ、「日本嫌い」など字幕と映像が異なり謝罪
2015年6月29日13時41分 スポーツ報知
http://www.hochi.co.jp/entertainment/20150629-OHT1T50080.html

フジテレビは29日、5日放送の番組「池上彰 緊急スペシャル!」で、日本についての韓国人へのインタビューを放送した際、「嫌いですよ」などとする字幕と実際の映像が異なっていたとして、おわびの文書を公式サイトに掲載した。

フジテレビによると、韓国女性が日本について「嫌いですよ、だって韓国を苦しめたじゃないですか」と語ったとする日本語の字幕が流れたが、実際には韓国について「文化がたくさんある。だから、外国の人がたくさん訪問してくれているようだ」と話していた。

また韓国の男性が「日本人にはいい人もいますが、国として嫌いです」と語ったとする場面では、実際は「過去の歴史を反省せず、そういう部分が私はちょっと」と話していた。2人ともインタビューの別の部分では、字幕の通りに発言したという。

フジテレビは、編集作業上のミスとして「視聴者の皆様、インタビューにご協力いただいた方、ならびに関係者の皆様におわび申し上げます」とコメントした。
ENDS

25 comments on “Looking for substantiation of change in editorial bent at Japan Today etc. after acquisition by right-wing Fuji Media Holdings

  • Unfortunately I didn’t keep any critical comments of Japan that got deleted. That site is so frustrating because the mods there deletes any criticism of Japan. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I recently stopped reading and posting there anymore.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    Japan Today won’t permit me to register to comment, although reading the comments it seems that there are many NJ who talk just like Japanese right-wingers. I’ll look out for examples.
    Today though, I’m more concerned that Japan Times is publishing war-crime denials by Hiroaki Sato, a Japanese living in the US, and therefore a man who should know better.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/06/29/commentary/japan-commentary/japans-colonial-rule-of-korea-was-moderate/

    Be warned, reading this will revolt you.

  • Jim Di Griz, to be fair to Japan Times though, they’re one of the few newspapers in Japan that still has some level of conscious left. As revolting as that article you cited, it’s still depends on the author, if we strictly talk about Japan Times. For instance, these two articles in Japan times calls out Japanese media’s glee at Korea’s MERS problems, as well as pointing to Japanese media’s (Fuji TV) attempt at spreading anti-Korean hatred in Japan by spreading false translations of ordinary Koreans on the streets supposedly hating on Japan.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/06/20/national/media-national/tabloids-revel-south-koreas-mers-misery/

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/06/29/national/social-issues/fuji-tv-apologizes-subtitles-inaccurately-quoting-south-koreans/

    I swear, Japan is looking more and more like North Korea when it comes control of the media and it’s use as a tool for propaganda.

  • It’s not only criticism of the Japanese government, but any criticism of Japan in general. I never posted there very often, but my last two comments have been deleted as ‘off topic’. I like to think that I only post when I have something worthwhile to say which is directly related to the topic under discussion. Like Miki above I’ve just given up on the site. I’ve also noticed the small group of right wing posters. The mistakes they make in English make me pretty sure that they’re Japanese, and I suspect only one person, given the recurrence of certain linguistic markers.

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    The economics pieces that they run certainly feel as if they were run past Abe censors before being published. Almost invariably, they are written from the perspective that inflation and the weakening of the yen are unquestionably desirable. There also seems to be a lot of copying and pasting as the same sentences show up again and again, and the posters are always getting on them for this.

  • J_jobseeker says:

    Maybe a bit off-topic, but I’ve always looked upon Ikegami’s programs with a bit of suspicion, especially as his popularity took off. The nature of all the shows he hosts is one where he authoritatively explains (away) things from his singular point of view. He’s become quite popular by doing this and I’ve come to realize that whether by intention or not, his “expertise” and “status” as a “journalist” makes his programs a perfect vehicle for propaganda. Or at least for the subtle manipulation of public sentiment through the deliberate filtering of “facts” through one man’s perspective.

  • @ Jim, thats funny as I chose China. Pre-3/11 as Tokyo was already stagnant, and I did some soul searching, asked a few J people for their advice, most were non committal except this nutcase woman working in my industry with a few issues, who vehemently said “JAPAN. OF COURSE, JAPAN, JAPAN”.

    But her job promises came to nowt, and she even belittled my efforts in Shanghai, focussing on dissing me personally (Me: “what about the content of this ad?” Her:”Your stomach isn’t flat, and ugh, its in Shanghai”).

    So post 3/11 I chose China. Of course. Gotta go where the money is. I do not owe the Japanese empire my loyalty. Why would I? For a few lunches? To be belittled?

    Just one example of years of slights and micro aggressions at the micro level.

    J apologist thinks I am over-sensitive? Oh, well I am just following the illustrious PM Abe’s example.

    Bye……

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    @J_jobseeker, #6

    I don’t know how Ikegami’s presence in Fuji TV accounts for his connection with right-wingers. He became popular especially his challenge to Asahi Shimbun over their report on particular account of comfort women(e.g., Seiji Yoshida’s questionable testimony) opened the floodgate of media witch-hunting last August. The public praised him for his courageous act, and painted him as hero for confronting the big evil media. Yet, I don’t see any substantial evidence that shows his clear ties with right-wing politicians or conservative organizations, so far. To me, it sounds like Fuji hired him because they believed his popularity will help them boost TV rating without affecting their conflict of interest. Based on what I found, he is a defender of free speech and press. He criticized Asahi for botched accountability over comfort women news reporting, yet he also gave other media journalists who called it “言論封殺” a fair warning for their disregard of similar conduct. And he is also very critical of popular media’s(especially weekly tabloids and magazines) habitual tendency to use the term “売国” (traitor) for demonization of dissenters.

    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/池上彰#cite_note-32

  • Jim, about that survey-revealing answers: 1. “At least the Japanese are largely polite in their discrimination. Being black, even if I’m American, seems like a sub-par experience in China.”

    So, reading between the lines, (s)he chooses Japan because (unlike in China) there is more of a popular black pop culture niche in Japan. And he is the military. No US bases in China so its moot. And I guess in the US military they get paid in US dollars.

    onagagamoJUN. 29, 2015 – 01:15PM JST
    “If I were a woman, then China. Much more likely to be taken seriously.” Indeed.

    The most significant comment IMHO is “I wonder how many people who answer have lived in both countries, or neither”. Indeed indeed.

  • 7:

    Considering the poll is hosted on JAPAN Today, I’m SURE the respondents will be a truly representative sample of the general population. Ugh.

    Once the results are in, wait for the article referencing them to show how despite the economic prowess of China, the soft power of Cool Japan is working (as it should, per their mentality).

  • Jim di Griz says:

    Will @#7

    I think you’re exactly right.
    Since the poll is on a website about Japan, the pre-selection bias make it totally worthless; we already know what the result will be.
    This is about as scientific as ‘research whaling’.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    Also, the article today about Free Wi-Fi on Mount Fuji, had 30 comments when I saw it at breakfast time, now it only has 18!
    The mods over there are waaaay too busy.

  • Put in another option into that poll, you know, as normal polls would do. Put in Canada, US, Germany, Australia, South Korea, etc. Then see what people say. I feel that, at the very least, Japan ain”t going to come out so far ahead I expect there.

  • Not random says:

    I watched a good deal of the Ikegami program in question when it aired, and it was rather strange and disconcerting. The format was as described by J_Jobseeker above, and was essentially a long monologue delivered to a “hina-dan” of TV personalities (who nod or go “ah” a lot, or occasionally add agreeable comments) with video segments interspersed, and heavy use of TEL-OP (writing superimposed on the video image (stands for TELevision Opaque Projection, apparently)). I would agree that it would be a good format for propaganda.

    I would also agree with Loverilakkuma, that it is not entirely clear where Ikegami fits in with others in the right wing crowd, because he does express fairly unique views. I see around the net that there are some out there criticizing Ikegami for referring to Japan’s colonial rule of Korea as ‘colonial rule.’ – a sin in the view of some right-wingers because Korea asked to be annexed or some such thing.

    The show’s theme was the 反日 (hannichi/ anti-japan) sentiment of the Koreans, and the word appeared very regularly throughout the show, and I was thinking about this show when reading an interesting discussion about what anti-japan means, etc that broke out on one of the threads here (which I cant find now, but it was early to mid june).

    In one segment of the show, Ikegami makes the claim, and I am paraphrase, that “anti-Japan” sentiment is at the very basis/foundation of Korean society because the preamble of the south korean constitution uses the words: “upholding the cause of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea born of the March First Independence Movement of 1919” He goes on to say that connecting the establishment of the state of South Korea with the 3/1 movement is something of a foundation myth and not historically accurate (which may be a fair point, I do not know enough about this), but then continues to simply claim that this shows that South Korea at its base is essentially anti-japan. To me, even if the original independence movement failed and was not directly connected with the founding of the state, it seems harmless to me to refer to the “upholding the cause” of independence, and it would mean simply that – national independence and continued resistance to the colonialism or imperialism of any foreign power. Now to interpret that as “anti-japan” because the particular colonial power that Korea was subject to at that time happened to be Japan, seems very weird to me – but if you take the view that Japan at its root is a imperial power (that it was and continues to be imperial at its core and cannot accept the principle of national independence of other people), then calling this “anti-japan” is not absurd. Makes me wonder what this guys views are.

    — I wonder if the same argument can be made that the US is “anti-United Kingdom” at its core because of its independence movement…

  • J_jobseeker says:

    @Loverilakkuma#9

    You’re right. My comment may have sounded like I was associating him with right-wingers, but that was not the intention. You do, however, point to the fact that he is seen quite highly in the public eye and has become a trusted voice for the masses because of said activities. This is the reason he has so many shows like this: Ikegami Emergency Special on various stations. I’ve tried watching a few, as well as his shows in the days they were on late night TV before his popularity landed him on prime-time and they’ve always come across to me as a bit one sided.

    My intention was to point out how someone like him can be possibly used to tell things a certain way from a supposed journalistic standpoint. If the intention of the program he hosts is to get down to the truth of the matter, then he should at least invite experts with counter viewpoints in order to present all sides of the issue–in my humble opinion. Sometimes this happens on the videos shown during the program, but he would then explain it his way to the studio audience, thus the viewers, negating the counter viewpoint. And look at the title of the segment in question: “why Koreans hate the Japanese so much.” That’s a sensationalistic style title one might find in a tabloid newspaper. Wouldn’t “the source of Koreans’ dislike of Japanese”? be more professional? By design the aim is for ratings and the former title gets people to tune in. Whether or not this was the idea of the program’s producers or his will bear out our opinions about him.

    However, it’s been 4 days since the article about the inaccurate quote on the videos was published and to my knowledge he personally hasn’t spoken up about this “miss” which, as the one with his name on the program’s title and as an upstanding journalist, seems a little strange for someone who has championed for accuracy in news reporting.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Not Random #16

    Re; the TV show.

    ‘“anti-Japan” sentiment is at the very basis/foundation of Korean society ‘.

    Well. yeah, the Japanese talento would see it that way, wouldn’t he? After all, he’s not really educated well enough to say ‘Hey, they hate us because of those war-crimes we deny and all’, and he couldn’t admit that even if he knows it, because then he’s be buying into the ‘Korean anti-Japanese lie’.

    So, yeah, it’s easier for them to rationalize that there is some inherent anti-Japanese bias woven into the very fabric of Korean society itself *for political reasons*.

    Of course, this is totally illogical. It’s as illogical as the fear that China wants to ‘invade Japan for it’s resources’ (what, old people are a resource now?).

    No. What I’d suggest that we are seeing being played out here is not some navel-gazing Japanese obesession with the outside world, since what is displayed is outright Japanese hostility to Korea and China.

    I would suggest that this is an effect of Japan’s cultural cognitive dissonance being played out; they know that Korea and China hate them for committing war crimes. But Japan is unwilling to believe that war-crimes ever happened. Therefore they have to develop even more convoluted and illogical explanations for why these two countries hate them. Japan is choosing to misunderstand the problem on purpose in order to continue lying to itself. Accepting that truth would mean that they would have to acknowledge that their education system needs a fundamental overhaul, and that virtually every politician they know is a liar. This is too much. It’s easier to maintain the ‘dreamy day’ fantasy by saying that those whacky Koreans and Chinese;

    1. Have an irrational hatred of Japan. Or,
    2. Are jealous of Japan’s economic success. Or,
    3. The populations of Korea and China are being manipulated by their own governments to distract them from domestic problems.

    Of course, these three ‘rationales’ are all projection of why Japan hates them.

  • Not random says:

    Thank you for the comment, Dr. Debito – it would be interesting
    indeed to see a British journalist explaining US anti-UK sentiment and offering up the Declaration of Independence as proof (though maybe a few hundred years passing under the bridge makes a difference.)

    A little more about the show:

    For a period of time early in the program, the writing in the top left of the video read:
    安倍首相の演説になぜ納得しない
    過熱する「反日」の理由

    very loosely translating :
    Why aren’t (they)convinced by Prime Minister Abe’s speech –
    The reason for the over-heating “anti-japan” (attitude/behaviour???)

    This is what grabbed my attention and why I sat through the show, because that seemed like a very blantant piece of propaganda – equating disagreeing with Mr. Abe to being anti-japanese – that I wasnt expecting to see on an ordinary commercial channel at that time of the evening.

    The whole show is veiwable on Youtube for the time being, but the format of the video I found on YT is screwed-up with niconico video comments streaming in the background while the actual video is on a small sized window in the middle with some clocks blocking the video…just weird:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3BiJTnBoQg

    Anyway, If you can cope with the format..worth a watch perhaps.

  • Not random says:

    looking back over this thread i see that Miki(14) has a far better youtube link…

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    @J_jobseeker, #17

    One important thing is that it is Fuji TV who is in sole control of their agenda–not Ikegami. He can’t make a noise because he knows that’s gonna cost his job–and possibly his career. At this point, in a growing anti-left sentiment and the Eye’ on Japanese media, he does’t see it worth risk-taking, which will likely end up being another Shigeaki Koga, for doing so.

  • I have noticed that my comments criticising the Uyoku, or fascists, are always removed now on Japan Today as being “off topic”. I’m sure this didn’t use to be the case as I often write/wrote comments about the fascists and their freedom to threaten and intimidate and those comments were not removed. Two examples of my recent comments that were removed are given below. Unfortunately, I have deleted most of the other evidence I had.

    The comments were posted on an article about the arrest of a man who “made threats” to the princess who attends a university by writing something like “You will do as I tell you and there will be no turning back”. Meanwhile, we can see YouTube videos of people calling for Koreans to be killed whilst the police stand by watching and doing nothing.

    Comments slagging off Abe still pass the censor though.

    ———————
    Comment 1:

    “Perhaps the police could explain why they don’t arrest the fascists who march down the street calling for the death of Koreans? Surely that is a much more serious threat than “You will do as I tell you and there will be no turning back”. The police double standards are causing confusion.”

    ———————-
    Comment 2:

    “The topic of this article is: making threats is considered by the police to be “obstruction of business” and people making such threats can be arrested.

    Therefore, my question is: why don’t the police arrest other people who make threats? For example, those who march down the streets calling for Koreans to be killed.

    ———————–

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Japan Today puts out ‘news’ that has (barely) just one fact;

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/invention-most-japanese-are-proud-of-is-instant-ramen

    What Japanese inventions are the Japanese most proud of?
    There than follows a list, that a simple google search will show, half of which were invented by NJ!

    The #1 invention that Japanese are most proud of is instant noodles. The inventor was Chinese-Taiwanese. Oh, and Nakamura who invented the blue LED is American. But the mods warn people to ‘end discussion of nationality’.

  • So, the headline “No. of people hit and killed by garbage trucks in Tokyo so far this year reaches 100” popped up on my news feed a few days ago but by the time I visited the Japan Today site the story had been taken down. I wonder if it’s true and was reported elsewhere in the Japanese press. Perhaps someone can verify? Fortunately Google has a cached copy:
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.japantoday.com%2Fcategory%2Fnational%2Fview%2Fno-of-people-hit-and-killed-by-garbage-trucks-in-tokyo-so-far-this-year-reaches-100&rlz=1CDGOYI_enJP612JP612&oq=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.japantoday.com%2Fcategory%2Fnational%2Fview%2Fno-of-people-hit-and-killed-by-garbage-trucks-in-tokyo-so-far-this-year-reaches-100&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i58&sourceid=chrome-mobile&espv=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en-GB

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