Monday, June 13, 2016

Who controls mainstream media news coverage of Fukushima in Japan?

Read this account by Mathieu Gaulène, who addresses a Japanese-language book by Honma Ryu claiming that censorship was exercised by Japan's largest communication conglomerate, Dentsu:

Mathieu Gaulène, M. (2016). Does the advertising giant Dentsu pull the strings of the Japanese media? Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 14(11.5),


Dentsu, the fifth largest communication group in the world, holds a large share of the Japanese advertising market, which impacts media freedom in Japan. This is particularly true in relation to the nuclear power industry.


Dentsu, the 5th communication group in the world and the number one ad agency. With its rival Hakuhodo, 2nd in the archipelago, the two agencies nicknamed “Denpaku,” combine advertising, public relations, media monitoring, crisis management for the largest Japanese and foreign companies, the local authorities, political parties or the government. Together they hold nearly 70% of the market. A true empire that some accuse of ruling the roost in the Japanese media…
… In a book published in 2012, Honma Ryu looked into some of Dentsu's backstage, and its tight control over the media, especially on behalf of one of its major clients: Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tepco. Honma is not alien to advertising circles; he worked for 18 years at number 2, Hakuhodo, then after one year imprisonment for fraud, he began writing, first about his prison experience, then about his years of advertising and the methods he used to coax the media. In 2012, his book Dentsu and Nuclear Coverage became a bestseller within a few months, despite almost universal media blackout.

…Honma meticulously described the mechanisms by which Dentsu, the inevitable intermediary, implicitly imposes on media what can or cannot be written on nuclear power, and under what conditions. “Dentsu occupies a special position since the agency holds 80% of the market for nuclear advertising in Japan,” he reminded us during an interview in a coffee shop at Ueno Station....

I strongly recommend reading entire article at link above.



  1. Almost all occupations depend to some extent on the good will and tolerance of some power group, for example trustees or board of directors. As a result no one has much real freedom of expression unless he or she is wealthy and can afford to be without work. But the wealthy rarely rise up in revolt or rebellion. Currently we note how Obama and Clinton are attempting to avoid the phrase "radical Islam". Terrorist is acceptable, especially when modified by domestic. Mateen is even being viewed as just mentally unstable, a nut case with a gun. A nut case who uses the internet as well. Guns and the internet are the real killers. Thus whatever the occupation or station in life one must listen and look around to see which terms are safe and which are risque and daring. The art of politics lies largely in using all the right phrases and then doing what one wants to and portraying it as other than it is,the one thing Obama has really been successful in doing. Not so long ago Obama characterized nuclear power as clean and maybe green. That was idiotic, but clean and green are soothing and so it worked. Radical is such a strong word that even using it seems to associate the user with radical. Finally we all get locked up by words and can only say things we don't mean and which we will betray by our actions.

  2. Its true. Good points William. The meidia in Japan really sucks. The only good advertising I see on TV here are all the commercials made by lawyers and legal groups to sue pharmaceutical companies, johnson and johnson,asbestos companies, and medical device companies. There are even class actions for downwinders advertised by lawyers on TV in new mexico. Need more.

  3. I think the talc in Johnsons baby powder that is linked to cancer is radioactive. I know asbestos fibers are radioactive.


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