A grab-bag of stories focusing on the media in Japan and its messages:
- Putting policies and statements aside, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is doing a poor job at conveying his message through the media, experts say. This might seem surprising, considering Suga was the government’s spokesman before he became its leader. But how Suga dealt with the media then appears to be part of the problem now, explains Eric Johnston.
- Netflix will almost double its anime output this year, stepping up its fight against AT&T and Sony for original content that appeals to Asian viewers. The streaming service will launch 40 new anime titles, it said Saturday during a virtual anime expo from Japan — where half of Netflix’s 5 million subscribing households watch an average of five hours of the shows each month.
- In his recent Big in Japan column, Michael Hoffman goes in search of elusive calm, a journey that takes him from secrets divulged by a Buddhist priest in Japan to a selfless act by a Catholic nun in Myanmar, and then to doctors working in South Sudan, all filtered through Japan’s media lens.
- A media watchdog panel on Tuesday stopped short of recognizing a human rights violation by reality TV show “Terrace House” in relation to the death of pro wrestler Hana Kimura. Her mom claimed that Kimura’s death was triggered by a flood of hateful comments on social media after she was portrayed on the Fuji TV show as a violent woman.
- In related news, a man has been charged over the online abuse directed at Kimura, who took her own life last year, prosecutors said Tuesday. A spokesman for the Tokyo Prosecutors’ Office said they had made a “summary indictment against a man in his 20s” following the May 2020 death. Local media said a Tokyo court had issued an order to fine him ¥9,000 ($80).