In April last year, Jiji Press technology reporter Tsuruaki Yukawa felt as if he had enemies all around him.

Yukawa, 48, is one of a growing number of journalists and others in Japan who publish Weblogs, or blogs, which are frequently updated Web-based journals that combine text, images and links to other blogs, and can accept comments from anyone. His Japanese-language blog, titled "Yukawa Tsuruaki's IT Choryu [trends]" has a unique place in Jiji, which has endorsed it as a journalistic experiment but doesn't edit any of his entries. Yukawa himself is solely responsible for its editorial content.

It was soon after Yukawa published an interview with an "office lady"-turned blogger/journalist named Ai Izumi that his blog was swamped with angry comments from other Web users. That avalanche of visitors to Yukawa's blog, who mostly used pseudonyms, took issue with the way Yukawa interviewed the female blogger, who they alleged might be sympathetic to Aum Shinrikyo, the now-outlawed religious cult whose members masterminded a series of sarin poison-gas and other terrorist attacks in Japan in the 1990s. Yukawa says he interviewed Izumi because he was interested in her approach to citizen journalism, and has not investigated if she is linked to the cult.