The planning of this special edition was triggered by Japan's Upper House Parliamentary election in the summer of 2013 when election campaigns using the Internet were run for the first time in the country's history. Japanese media reports at the time of lifting of the ban on the use of the Internet for election campaigns extolled the start of online election campaigns and pointed out that there would be a variety of potential electoral campaigns from then on. How- ever, as the articles in this special edition indicate, many have said that the impact on the actual election of Internet use for election campaigns was low due to low voter turnout and a lack of data showing a significant correlation between Internet usage and the election results. Nevertheless, given the events that occurred inside and outside Japan around the time that the ban on using the Internet for election campaigns was lifted, it can be said that the start of the use of the Internet for the summer 2013 election campaigns marked a milestone, and that we should reconsider the status of political communications in Japan in the social context, and not merely think of the impact of the Internet. Particularly since 2010, pro-democracy movements such as the Arab Spring and protest movements including the Occupy movement have developed on the back of the spread of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook and the increasing number of smartphone users globally. The anti-nuclear movement seen in Japan around the same time - albeit, a somewhat different kind of movement - appears to have the same communication structure. If one looks at dominant opinions on the Internet in recent years and uses right-leaning opinions as an example, it can be seen that using the Internet has become more significant as a method for political activities for certain age groups and segments of society. Furthermore, objections against companies that exploit their employees - such movements started coming to the surface in 2013 - should be considered as political communications made through the means of easy-to-access information. This special edition aims to examine the relationship between the Internet and political communications, including possibilities that will be traced back to the concept of social change through digital technologies, which has been called "Cyberactivism" (McCaughey, 2014) since 2000s. The main purpose of this special edition, however, is to investigate what kind of roles mass media, which has been playing a key role in terms of political communications in conventional Japanese society, will be able to take on in the current communication environment, in which a diversity of different types of media and networks are developing. Based on this background, we have asked the writers for this special edition to discuss matters in accordance with their respective fields of expertise, in order to clarify the dynamics of political communications through media and networks in Japan from the past to the present, focusing on the impact of the Internet on the content of specific online political information and the use of such content.
The objective of this paper is to consider, from an analytical perspective, forms of political participation in the contemporary media landscape. Political communication theory faces a difficult question: how to analyze the diverse forms of political participation that use digital media. Political participation in the digital age is explained in terms of "networks." For example, Manuel Castells advocates that the development of digitalization stimulates political participation and leads to political and social changes. Though this approach is broadly accepted, the "network society" theory has been criticized because of its failure to analyze the power struggle dimension in political communication. As some critics point out, Castells has not described adequately how the new media landscape forms society, and what resistance and struggles are generated within it. This paper refers to Nick Couldry's media theory as an alternative approach. Through his original theory of media power, he describes the formation of contemporary society as constructed by media practice and media representation. According to his theoretical framework, he argues for the possibility of political participation in the formation of a neoliberal political-social order. This paper focuses into Couldry's two concepts, "voice" and "hearing," and argues that these are new analytical tools for political participation and political communication.
Political advertising plays a significant role in conveying campaign information and constructing images of parties and candidates more directly than the news, the contents of which they have little or no control over. Political parties have prioritized traditional political communication, such as personal contact campaigning and wayside speeches. However, parties have come to rely more on political advertising as a result of the termination of the long-standing dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the early 1990s. This paper outlines the historical development of political advertising from the emergence of political parties and their campaigning in the 1880s to the online campaigning during the 2013 House of Councilors election, focusing both on the change in the media environment and in election law. The current research also compares the contents and appeal of LDP and non-LDP political advertising in terms of issue presentation and image construction by analyzing political ads in newspapers and on television from 1960 to 2012. Overall, parties have placed emphasis on images over issues in their ads, and election campaigns have been dominated by governing parties. This tendency did not change at all in the online campaigns of the 2013 House of Councilors election. This paper also investigates issues in relation to online political campaigning, including concerns over targeted and tailored online political advertising and selective searches for information by voters that confirm their pre-existing political views, which in turn might decrease political tolerance.
This article discusses the changes in Japanese politics in the age of the Internet, especially in this age of social media. From my point of view I can say that three major changes have been occurring with the spread of the use of social media in these days. The first is that Japanese people are starting to talk, or type, about politics in the new "public sphere" in the Internet and so are building up another type of public opinion. We call it in Japanese netto-yoron ("Internet public opinion"), which both politicians and the mass media cannot avoid taking into account. The second change is that politicians, parties, and candidates have been empowered by social media. Japanese politicians have succeeded in creating or developing new ways of using social media, attacking articles or coverage by the mass media in order that the politicians can influence the mass media. This may change the Japanese politics as well. The third change concerns the Japanese mass media, which is attacked both by politicians using social media and by netto-yoron. This will be a major change in terms of political communication in Japan.
The rapid increase of social media users may influence political communication in Japan. This paper reviews the current situation of political communication via social media in the country. In the case of US presidential elections, few voters had talked about the elections via social media. However, Obama-style campaign tactics use social media to raise political funding and mobilize volunteers. An online panel survey was conducted before and after the 2013 Japanese Upper House election, during which the ban on online election campaigning was withdrawn for the first time in Japan. Only 18.3% of the respondents had accessed websites or social media for electoral information, while over half of them watched TV programs or read newspapers. Nevertheless, regression analysis suggests that social media usage of respondents is weakly associated with political interest, cognition of the number of important issues, and attitudes to political parties. Further research is needed to clarify the influence of social media and mass media on political communication in Japan.
This study aims to examine deposit collections during the Taisho period (1912-1926) . Deposit collections developed in connection with community-based organizations in local society. They were founded in several different venues, such as youth groups, girls' groups, barbershops, and schools. The current study will focus primarily on deposit collections and a local community. After the Russo-Japanese War (1905), the Ministry of Education and the Home Ministry needed to solve the problem of a growing population of students who were graduating from elementary school but would not go on to junior high school. The ministries intended to establish youth groups for these young elementary graduates in order to avoid an academic decline. At the same time, they also encouraged the establishment of libraries and deposit collections for social education. Against this historical background, deposit collections increased in number throughout the Taisho period. In Saitama Prefecture, youth groups began establishing permanent deposit collections as a result of the introduction of a traveling library in 1909. Members of the public donated small amounts of money and small numbers of books to the groups. This enabled the groups to establish collections easily and at a low cost. In 1919, about 40% of youth groups had a library or deposit collection, and about 70% of youth groups used them. This shows the ubiquity of deposit collections at that time. Meanwhile, deposit collections flourished within the circle of everyday life and diversified. Unlike the traveling library in Saitama Prefecture, the traveling libraries of community-based organizations went from door to door. These deposit collections were operated by not only youth groups, but also by girls' groups, barbershops, schools, and others. They also existed not only in Saitama prefecture, but in other Japanese prefectures as well.
This paper investigates the formation of early television studies in Japan, elaborating on the relationship between the theory of mass communication in American academia and early postwar Japanese television studies. By focusing on and analyzing the "Broadcast Studies" scheme in 1960s Japanese academia, it clarifies the process of the organization of knowledge for early television studies in Japan. Specifically, this study concentrates on analyzing the ways in which the discourses of television researchers were related and on how they influenced each other in 1960s Japanese academic circles. Early television studies in Japan were connected with various thinkers and researchers of institutions, developing individual television studies into a new way of thinking called "Broadcast Studies." First of all, both Ikutaro Shimizu and Hiroshi Minami demonstrated the ideological guidance of television studies in Japanese academia. They influenced academic institutions such as the Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies at The University of Tokyo (1949-1992) and the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute (1946 onward), with the result being that demonstrative research of television in Japan was created. A new scheme for television studies was established as critical research. Called "Broadcast Studies," it denied the theory of mass communication in American academia. At the same time, the Institute of the Japan Commercial Broadcasting Association (1962 onward) was established for investigating the characteristics of commercial broadcasting. This association based their thinking on concepts from western television theorists, as is seen in the work of Hidetoshi Kato and Tadao Umesao. Through the analysis of these discourses on early television studies in Japan, this paper shows the underlying structure of the history of Japanese television studies in the 1960s, a discourse that was not solely based on the American theory of mass communication. The research suggests possibilities for future research in Japanese television studies.
The objective of this article is to explore the status of the right to know in the special secrecy law. I found that the law gives much attention to safeguarding "special secrets" but has no regard for the people's right to know. Firstly, the law virtually admits its classification of what is a special secret is too wide-ranging, but restricts the declassification and disclosure of such secrets. Also the law has a chilling effect on whistle-blowing. Secondly, there is little guarantee of the Japanese Diet, the court and third party organizations checking on the enforcement of the special secrecy law. Thirdly, the provision in consideration of press freedom in the law does not have a substantial effect. In view of these serious defects, the law should be abolished or radically amended.
The aim of this paper is to review the background and clarify the role of media cities in contemporary Arab countries. The media city is an economic free zone that Arab countries have been establishing since the 1990s to attract private media companies, particularly broadcasters. This paper focuses on media cities constructed in Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) . The analysis reveals that the purpose of constructing media cities in Arab countries is not only economic, but is highly political as well. Many authoritarian governments use media cities to lessen the threat of the transnational flow of information. At the same time, the media city has played an important role in creating a contemporary Arab broadcasting scene that governments had never expected. With the introduction of media cities, barriers to entering the Arab media market were lowered, allowing many new broadcasters to start to enter the market. Therefore, beyond the original intention of the Arab countries, media cities promote "broadcasting diversity" in the contemporary Arab media scene.
In this paper, by interviewing the TV program creators of Akarui Noson-Mura no Kiroku, a program on agricultural affairs that was broadcast on NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) from the late 1950s to early 1980s, The authors examined the transition in the approach of the program's production and the viewpoints of the creators, and analyzed the construction process for the representational model of Japan's post-war agriculture and agricultural communities. Consequently, these interviews revealed the presence of a unique mind-set held by the program creators (a "village mentality") that differs from the rest of creators at NHK, and the process of the transition of their perspectives on agriculture and agricultural communities in relation with changes of the times throughout the years they worked with agriculture and agricultural communities. Mura no Kiroku, originally in line with agricultural affairs programs, was a program with the objective of providing education on and improving agriculture and its communities. From the mid-1960s onward, however, due to the rapidly changing agricultural environments and viewer demand, it became necessary to create a program from the perspective of agriculture and its communities as victims. At the same time, food and agriculture issues in the 1970s demanded a "critical perspective on agriculture and agricultural communities" to be included in the program. But at the end, neither the victimizing nor critical perspective on agriculture and rural villages was considered suitable for the program and its viewers. The transition in the perspectives of the creators of Mura no Kiroku is a history of broadcasting that reveals the construction process for the representational model of the post-war agriculture of Japan. Furthermore, based on these considerations, This paper presents a statement to the effect that the analysis of this program can be a threshold for the reevaluation of the relations between today's agriculture and rural villages on the one hand, and the television media on the other.
In this paper, I will specifically and objectively identify critical opinions on the mass media that have developed on the Internet about a report giving the real names of the Japanese victims of the hostage crisis of January 2013 in Algeria, and consider the structural factors of such criticism. The targets of this analysis are 1262 cases of opinions output from highly-ranked Web pages displayed on a search engine listing using fixed criteria. 7.1% of the opinions supported the news report, 68.5% of opinions did not support it, with other opinions accounting for 24.4%. The results of an analysis of opinions that did not support the report by using a text-mining approach did not necessarily indicate criticisms of the report that used the real names of the victims, but were an accumulation of various feelings of distrust against the mass media expressed on the Internet that were triggered by this news report. In addition, opinions that did not support the report were formed using language structures peculiar to the Internet; namely, a cyber-cascade that began at the point where people critical of the mass media became sympathetic and radicalized as unclear information spread on the Internet.
Inoue (1998) pointed out differences in the reading experiences of manga between men and women. In this paper, I develop Inoue's findings by analyzing two surveys. Firstly, I present data from a "school library survey," and report the following. For instance, as boys and girls grow older, boys stop reading the monthly comic magazines, such as "Corocoro-comic," that they read in elementary school, and start reading weekly comics, such as "Shonen Jump," in junior high school. In contrast, girls change from reading the monthly girls' comic magazines, such as "Ribon," that they read in elementary school, and start reading monthly fashion magazines, such as "Seventeen," in junior high school. Secondly, a questionnaire survey on youth culture and communication was conducted in 2010 that targeted young people in Nerima-ku in Tokyo. The aim of the survey was to identify youth opinions and behavior in relation to hobbies and culture. Some of the findings in the analysis concern comics. In terms of the media, although men and women mainly read comics as collected volumes, men tend to read magazines while women do not. In terms of reading volume, men read an average of 4.8 collected volumes and 2.8 magazines per month, while women read an average of 4 collected volumes and 0.7 magazines. Additionally, it was found that there is a positive correlation between how frequently women read comics as collected volumes or magazines, and how frequently they discuss comics, go to manga stores with friends, and make friends through such discussions about comics. This correlation was not seen in the men. The survey results suggest that the culture of reading comics may be dominated by men, while for women, it is more of a subculture. It is rare for women to read comics; therefore, reading comics becomes a resource for communication.