The media’s anti-Japan bias: Nothing new under the sun
Posted by ampontan on Saturday, December 29, 2007
AS THE TWIG IS BENT, so grows the tree, goes the old saying, which might explain some of the recent hostility shown toward Japan from those in Britain regarding the whaling controversy.
Reports have emerged that the late Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, father of the current prime minister, was livid over the 1970s Granada TV documentary Eastern Promise in its World in Action series produced when Hitachi wanted to open a plant in England to manufacture television sets. Mr. Fukuda even summoned the British charge d’affaires for an old-fashioned diplomatic dressing down.
Some of the problems with the program included:
- The opening scene with an animated graphic showing a Trojan horse cut open with a samurai sword to reveal the names of Japanese companies competing with European businesses
- An excerpt from a wartime movie showing a POW with Japanese guards (For a documentary about a factory?)
- A scene with Americans wearing anti-Japanese T-shirts protesting at a Japanese factory. Granada TV admitted it staged the scene for the program.
- Alleged “punishment rooms” in Japanese factories to shame workers, including a scene with a room that had distorting mirrors and dummies of the boss
- The ending scene, in which a Japanese businessman swinging a golf club morphed into a samurai swinging a sword
Granada later said it made errors in judgement, and specifically mentioned the punishment room scene and the American demonstration scene.
Considering the ongoing failure of the world’s media to produce anything resembling an accurate picture of Japan, the negative images of this country held by the public at large elsewhere should be no surprise.
And considering the nature of the news media itself–which presents little more than entertainment for people with an interest in current events–this state of affairs is unlikely to ever improve.