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How is the relationship between the Japanese state and Japanese society mediated by the press? Does the pervasive system of press clubs, and the regulations underlying them, alter or even censor the way news is reported in Japan? Who benefits from the press club system? And who loses? Here Laurie Anne Freeman examines the subtle, highly interconnected relationship between journalists and news sources in Japan. Beginning with a historical overview of the relationship between the press, politics, and the public, she describes how Japanese press clubs act as "information cartels," limiting competition among news organizations and rigidly structuring relations through strict rules and sanctions. She also shows how the web of interrelations extends into, and is reinforced by, media industry associations and business groups (keiretsu). Political news and information are conveyed to the public in Japan, but because of institutional constraints, they are conveyed in a highly delimited fashion that narrows the range of societal inquiry into the political process. Closing the Shop shows us how the press system in Japan serves as neither a watchdog nor a lapdog. Nor does the state directly control the press in ways Westerners might think of as censorship. The level of interconnectedness, through both official and unofficial channels, helps set the agenda and terms of political debate in Japan's mass media to an extent that is unimaginable to many in the United States and other advanced industrial democracies. This fascinating look at Japan's information cartels provides a critical but often overlooked explanation for the overall power and autonomy enjoyed by the Japanese state.
Japan is one of the world’s most literate societies. Its national newspapers are the most read newspapers in the world, and the country also has a very vibrant local newspaper sector. This book assesses the vital role local newspapers play in the development of local communities, as well as examining their development, industry structure and production conventions. The author employs the key term, ‘revitalization journalism’, to explore in detail the many techniques and conventions that local newspapers employ to engage with, and make an impact in, their specific host regions. The book concludes by comparing Japanese local newspapers to the current state of newspapers worldwide, and assessing how Japanese local newspapers are likely to develop in future.
Media and Politics in Pacific Asia is the first book to provide a detailed account of the political influences exerted by both domestic and international media in Pacific Asia. Duncan McCargo argues that the media are political actors and institutions in their own right, and that as such they can play a variety of political roles, some of which support processes of demographic transition and consolidation, and some which do just the opposite. Drawing on first-hand research in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand - and employing comparative examples that include Burma, Malaysia and the Phillipines - Duncan McCargo examines the various influences of the Media as agents of stability, restraint and change. He also analyses pressures on the media from a range of state, non-state and market forces, and sets out to problematize simplistic readings of issues such as media freedom, ownership, partisanship, profitability, regulation and public interest. The result is an in-depth and fascinating study of the interplay between the media and the political process. Written in a clear and accessible style with numerous examples, this highly original book will be useful to academics, students, journalists, and general readers interested in Asian studies, media and politics.
"A welcome addition to any reading list for those interested in contemporary Japanese society." - Roger Goodman, Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Society, University of Oxford "I know no better book for an accessible and up-to-date introduction to this complex subject than The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japan Studies." - Hiroko Takeda, Associate Professor, Organization for Global Japanese Studies, University of Tokyo "Pioneering and nuanced in analysis, yet highly accessible and engaging in style." - Yoshio Sugimoto, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies includes outstanding contributions from a diverse group of leading academics from across the globe. This volume is designed to serve as a major interdisciplinary reference work and a seminal text, both rigorous and accessible, to assist students and scholars in understanding one of the major nations of the world. James D. Babb is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University.
In the fast changing modern world where does Japan fit in, and how should it relate to the United States and China? Three foreign commentators make a provocative and persuasive argument that the time has come for Japan to help build a stronger Asian community, and to become an engage and conscientious global citizen.
In recent decades Japan has changed from a strongly growing, economically successful nation regarded as prime example of social equality and inclusion, to a nation with a stagnating economy, a shrinking population and a very high proportion of elderly people. Within this, new forms of inequality are emerging and deepening, and a new model of Japan as 'gap society' (kakusa shakai) has become common-sense. These new forms of inequality are complex, are caused in different ways by a variety of factors, and require deep-seated reforms in order to remedy them. This book provides a comprehensive overview of inequality in contemporary Japan. It examines inequality in labour and employment, in welfare and family, in education and social mobility, in the urban-rural divide, and concerning immigration, ethnic minorities and gender. The book also considers the widespread anxiety effect of the fear of inequality; and discusses how far these developments in Japan represent a new form of social problem for the wider world.
A Public Betrayed exposes deceptions, lies, and abuses of power in Japan that have led to such profound degrees of misunderstanding, confusion, and suffering that they have inspired the phrase "media atrocities." This book lays bare the mechanisms and motivations behind these sobering abuses. And as the examples show, the very factors, that have contributed to such injustices in Japan have become increasingly predominant in the news-media sectors of the West-factors such as extreme industry consolidation, the growth of nationalism, intense commercialism, and the erosion of media ethics. The lessons for the rest of the free world could be neither more profound nor more relevant. Now is the time to understand Japan and its media atrocities.

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