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The Japan Times is a necessity if one wants to keep up with the treatment of minorities that most media ignore, thanks to the original research of the paper’s fine correspondents.

Where The Japan Times falls down, however, is in relying on wire services for its international news. Thus we get the inaccurate AP story June 30 on violence at the Group of 20 meet in Toronto, which leads the reader to believe that most of the 900-plus arrests were due to anarchist violence. Indeed CBC and other sources note that most of the arrests were of nonviolent protesters, including numerous journalists, many of whom were also subject to beatings. They also suggest that much of the damage and mayhem may have been due to police provocateurs.

This is not the only example of insufficient coverage. In South Korea there has been a firestorm of protest by civil society over the official report blaming North Korea for the sinking of a South Korean boat and omitting other evidence, which has resulted in the rightwing government prosecuting at least one nonprofit organization with U.N. observer status. Where is that story in The Japan Times?

Such inadequate reporting leads the uninformed reader to trust the official version of events, which is very convenient when the United States wants to maintain bases in Asia to support its policy of global warfare and neoliberalism, two of the issues challenged by civil society groups.

It’s time The Japan Times got on the ball, or give up the claim to be reporting “all the news without fear or favor.”

paul arenson

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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