Jul 2, 2012

NHK’s Double Standard

From early evening of June 30, 2012 through July 1, 2012, a road leading to Oi nulcear power plant was blocked by protesters who were against the restart of Oi reactor No. 3.  Several hundreds of protesters gathered, drumming and chanting ‘Saikado hantai!” or “We oppose the restart!”

Fukui prefecture police came and told them to leave, but the crowd chased them away.  
When riot police arrived, the nonviolent protest continued, with a wall of riot police officers and a wall of protesters against it.

This was not an ordinary scene by any means, and in Japan, this was an absolutely newsworthy scene.  In fact, there was a word that foreign media came to tape the protest.  Independent Web Journal headed by a journalist, Yasumi Iwakami, broadcast the entire protest using several video cameras, attracting over 300,000 viewers all over the world.  There was a domestic TV show which aired on July 2, that featured the Oi demonstration and the July 1 Tokyo demonstration, so TV station was also present.

A Japanese government-owned TV station, NHK, was nowhere in sight.  People anxiously watched NHK news throughout July 1 to see if the Oi demonstration was covered.  NHK news briefly “mentioned” that there was a demonstration (as in the past tense) but the restart was to happen as scheduled.

If you get information only from newspaper and TV in Japan, you would not have known there was a protest going on at Oi.  You would not know how severe the country’s radioactive contamination really is and how many people have suddenly died ever since the Fukushima nuclear accident.

What was quite surprising was that on NHK World, the following entry appeared with a 27-second segment that was aired.  As short as this was, it was still more extensive than the domestic news segment.


Protestors gather at Ohi nuclear plant

Protesters are gathering at the Ohi nuclear power plant in central Japan ahead of the restart of one of its reactors on Sunday evening.

Members of groups opposing the first restart of idled reactors in the country began assembling near the plant's gate beginning Saturday evening.

They are blocking a road leading to the plant, some using vehicles.

Some protestors are holding banners that call for no reactivation. Others shouted slogans and beat drums.

Kansai Electric Power Company says the presence of protestoes is making it difficult for workers to enter the site, but that the plant's operations have not been affected.

Jul. 1, 2012 - Updated 06:00 UTC (15:00 JST)

A similar situation happened in regards to the June 29 anti-nuclear demonstration in front of the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo, which drew 150,000-200,000 ordinary citizens (as reported by the organizer and two other news sources).  The weekly demonstration grew rapidly in size, beginning at 300 on March 29, 12,000 on June 15, 45,000 on June 22 and finally nearly 200,000 on June 29.

TV Asahi’s weekly morning show, Morning Bird, aired a segment on July 2, featuring the July 1 Oi and Tokyo protests and the June 29 Tokyo protest, and it’s obvious to anybody’s eyes how significant these protests are.

However, NHK barely touched the unprecedented public protest on June 29 on domestic news, whereas there was a 25-second segment on NHK World.  (This article was already deleted from their site.)

Clearly, NHK has a double standard for domestic and international broadcasting.  



  1. Because that is how Japan has been showing the world it respects Human Rights and is a democratic country for years. Honne and Tatemae. Show a good face for the rest of the world and treat its own population like dirt and on the top of that "make them like it", which they do. It absolutely astonishing how much in denial people are thinking that Japanese would never do this to other Japanese.

    Hey guess what ? They have , They do and They will. Just look at Japan's history so far and stop being in denial, the lower ranks of the society will always be sacrified by the upper cast.

    Wake up and smell the coffee.

  2. It works the pretty same way in the US, really. The mainstream media in the US is entirely corporate controlled and largely supportive of the government and industry (that includes so-called "public" outlets like NPR). If you live in the US and watch only the mainstream media, especially television news, you don't really know what's going on on any given issue. Much better sources are located outside the country or in niche publications that run well under the radar within the country. It's always been that way. Always will.