The spiralling of the Japan Times down the drain and into the gutter occupied by Japan Today and Rocket News continues apace, with this hack job from an author who seems to be channelling our favourite reporter.
Have the foreign media got it in for Japan? Do they unduly focus on, and sensationalize, Fukushima radiation leaks, alleged racial intolerance and the self-aggrandizing policy pronouncements of the reborn Liberal Democratic Party? Worse still, are non-Japanese journalists prejudicing perceptions of Japan in the wider world, further eroding the nation’s global significance?
In order, too open a question, most certainly, what’s "self-aggrandizing policy pronouncements"?, perhaps. Furthmore, it would be nice if the article actually answered these questions.
Though right-wing Japanese apologists
Apologism is not an exclusive trait of the right-wing, and indeed Level3, for example, used to get frequently booed for his right-wing libertarian stance here and elsewhere!
Banded behind a small but deafening band of bloggers, YouTubers and citizen journalists of sorts, this informal alliance generate legion online comments, blog posts and video channel chat-fests that systematically seek to discredit media they say are bent on fear-mongering about the country.
What utter, utter nonsense!
But the fact that this damning account of Japanese immigration procedure was covered in such an internationally significant publication
I need a :stiflelaugh: or :snort: emoticon here!
The publication claimed that it fact-checked Johnson’s story as much as possible
That’s stretching it a bit: they actually said "It must be considered as unverified, despite The Economist’s attempts to check relevant facts with the Japanese and Canadian governments".
VKay, a typically anonymous pro-Japan voice
VK, please! And how can you be "typically anonymous"?
The Canadian, who says he had never heard of these blogs before the Gaijin Gulag episode
Just like many of us hadn’t heard of the Canadian before his gulagging.
In ways, these foreign-born cyber-warriors parallel the infamous netouyo ("Internet right") — nationalistic Net trolls who hunt Japan’s critics online. When Miki Dezaki
Funnily enough, I supported him (although I cannot find the story again), and I find equating apologists with the netouyo bordering on defamation.
This band of non-native Japan apologists often stress that they are not mouthpieces of the Japanese right.
BUT WE KNOW BETTER!!!11!ELEVENTY=ONE!1!
Nevertheless, some contend that pro-Japan blogs such as Japan Probe and Japologism, which Inoue posts on, push a highly circumscribed agenda.
Ahh, the good old "some"!
Yes, it’s an anonymous commenter.
@Kamo quoted another foreign blogger in Japan, Our Man in Abiko, real name Patrick Sherriff, who called Japan Probe "the self-appointed lapdog of the Japanese establishment."
Anyone familiar with Ourmani would recognise that as sarcasm, I would guess. Indeed, Ourmani admits to having written it a few sheets to the wind.
But reasonable "soft" apologists such as Hikosaemon
Aww, Hiko-chan is a cuddly-wuddly twoll!
‘BS’ is a term often employed in these pro-Japan forums as the truest marker of Japan-related media bias and negativity.
For the neo-apologists
Now we have "neo-apologists".
The view that the neo-apologists rely on anonymous "embittered trolls" to bully journalists online
Whose view? Whose quote?
YouTube shows and sundry blogs also expose netizens to the pro-Japan narrative via predominantly light-hearted entertainment. On YouTube channels such as 2.5 Oyajis, the expat presenters wear funny hats and discuss human interest curiosities in Japan.
Oh not, it’s cuddly-wuddly Hiko-chan again up to his old tricks as a gateway drug to neo-apologism!
Are foreign bureaus in Japan actually spooked, and has open debate been stifled? (A number of journalists approached for this article did not want to comment.)
I suspect they too noticed the all-too familiar tone of Japan’s greatest journalist and decided not to get involved.
UPDATE: Indeed, after I wrote the above sentence, but before publishing the story, I saw this Twitter thread. In it, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hiroko Tabuchi says:
I can’t believe JT printed it. Standards?
@jtben @stevenshayman IMHO, your page gives such a bad name to @JapanTimes & tramples on hard work of paper’s other reporters & editors.
Furthermore, here is a reddit thread on it.
Oh, and I liked this comment:
It will be interesting when this hits 2ch…