First Waiwai, now Japan Times’ Tokyo Confidential now in Internet “Japan Image Police” sights


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Hi Blog.  Writing you from California, arrived safely.  Here we have an article talking about how the sights are turning from the Mainichi Waiwai to the Japan Times “Tokyo Confidential” column–in the same spirit of making sure outsiders don’t “misunderstand” Japan (by reading potentially negative stuff already found in the domestic press).  The Japanese language is only supposed to be for domestic consumption, after all, right?  How dare non-natives translate the secret code?  Anyway, it’s one more good reason why you don’t deal with anonymous Internet bullies–giving in to them only makes them stronger–and more hypocritical given press freedom and the freedom of speech they wallow in.  Let’s hope the Japan Times has the guts to stand up to them.  Arudou Debito in the Bay Area


ジャパンタイムズの性的記事配信 「海外に誤解与える」と批判出る

7月31日19時5分配信 J-CASTニュース

ジャパンタイムズの性的記事配信 「海外に誤解与える」と批判出る  




■「主婦のセックス もっと金を稼ぐために」




 このサイトは、「TOKYO CONFIDENTIAL」。毎週日曜日に、週刊誌から性に限らず様々なストーリーを3本ほど紹介している。週刊朝日の記事は、ジャパンタイムズの米国人記者が書いた02年6月2日付サイト記事で紹介された。「主婦のセックス もっと金を稼ぐために、もっと無貞操になるために」と刺激的なタイトルが付けられている。

 サイトには、この記事のほかに、性的に特異な行動を紹介する多数の記事がストックされている。例えば、06年5月14日付記事では、週刊プレイボーイから引用し、田舎の子どもたちは楽しみごとが少ないため、飲酒やセックスに耽るという医師の話を紹介。また、07年8月5日の記事では、日本人女性100人が少なくとも1回は即エッチを認める主義になったと告白したというSPA!の記事を報じている。タイトルは、それぞれ「田舎のセックス暴走に踏み殺される少女」「即エッチ 性ホルモンが論理を凌駕するとき」とかなり刺激的だ。







 ちなみに、サイトの米国人記者は、毎日の紙媒体(当時)「WaiWai」で記事を書いた後、ジャパンタイムズに移籍していた。処分を受けた毎日のライアン・コネル記者とは、「Tabloid Tokyo」の共著者に名を連ねている。





7 comments on “First Waiwai, now Japan Times’ Tokyo Confidential now in Internet “Japan Image Police” sights

  • Kent Krive says:

    I was a little surprised to see the upset at Mianichi – I even sent them a note. The WaiWai articles would not have been published in the NYT, more likely in Cosmo or Psychology Today. I just thought it was a reflection of more healthy and open attitude. Apparently, someone in the bible belt complained. Oh well. As I wrote to them, Japan’s low teen pregnancy rate should say something about openness (unless it says more about severe shyness).

    Cheers from Michigan

  • Debito, I strongly urged you to voice our concern to any of your Japanese colleagues and to other Japanese people regarding the potential chilling effect associated with Japanese Image Police. The more balanced the negative and positive images are, the better the foreigners and immmigrants fit in Japanese society, since you already expected the worst. What could be worse than the worst, after all?

  • From what I’ve heard from the Japanese side, many of these completely inappropriate articles were written by the foreign journalists, not translated. Either way why would they want to publish this stuff? They are completely insulting and degrading to Japanese, especially women, and obviously are only going to incite hatred towards foreigners. Surely these “journalists” can find something better to do with their time.

  • @Stuart

    If you have read Waiwai column of Minichi News before, you will know ALL of these articles are directly translated from weekly magazines (related to gossips, entertainment, variety and so on) written by Japanese authors, sold by local outlets, and intended to be read by Japanese people.

    My points are, unless those articles are for adults only (as indicated by the front cover or by the editors), I can’t see anything wrong with publishing those materials online. It’s purely your own discretion to like or dislike it.

  • The way I see it,Japanese image police hunts Waiwai and Foreigner image police hunts down Gaijin Hanzai File.
    The difference is GHF was a tabloid crap taken away from convini within days after being circulated,but Waiwai was a tabloid crap on the website of the third largest national paper and was there for years.
    What I don’t understand is why the former is considered as a racist propaganda while the latter is the matter of free press to our foreign neighbors.

  • What was a column like “WaiWai” doing on the HP of the Japan Times or “Minichi” newspaper. It is a newspaper, so they have to take responsibility for everything they cite. “It was only translation from some tabloids” kind of excuse will not apply to it. To a newspaper freedom of speech apply when and only when it backs up every word it writes. The issue is the Journalistic responsibility of one newspaper. It is fine if the tabloid article was transmitted as a tabloid article on a tabloid magazine and it will be fine to publish as a book of tabloid articles. It will be a nice and fun reading. The problem here was it was a part of the Japan Times or the Minichi Newspaper. I don`t want to see a article on the Globe `n Mail starting with “according to some tabloids”. Why should Japanese endure that. I hope Japan Times has a guts to admit its mistake and fix the problem.

  • IF Mainichi and Japan Times were 99% smut and 1% legit news, then I would agree they are not being responsible journalists. Let’s keep things in perspective — we’re talking about one single smut column from a whole week’s worth of news articles. And people want to eliminate even that? Isn’t that called ‘white-washing’?!?!
    As an American, I find JT’s 1% smut ratio to be in line with American newspapers. Here’s a question for Debito-san’s blog world: how does that compare with, for example, the British newspaper culture? What’s this I’ve heard of the ‘Page 2 Girls’?
    And finally, the referenced article that takes issue with JT’s smut column was from Shukan Playboy — isn’t this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?


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