Japan Mass Media Free Essay

Japan has been recognized as an exclusive nation that strives to retain its national integrity and purity. As a result, its national position limits the rights and freedoms of immigrants, which the Japanese government has to accept due to the lack of a labor force. Regardless of the situation, the Japanese press is merciless in representing immigrants and foreign workers in the most negative light, particularly when it concerns criminal rates. To be more precise, some of the examples reveal the overt accusation of foreigners of the increased crime rates in Japan. Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to conduct a content analysis to understand whether Japanese reporters use nationally-affiliated references to the outlaw acts while depicting criminals. The use of the most recognized mass media is essential to understanding the specifics of local topics which are discussed in Japan.

Problem Statement

Regardless of the despised attitude of Japan nation to immigrants, the country is still in urgent need of immigrants owing to the lack of a labor force. The problem is that the native population is aging, whereas the birth rate is decreasing (Arudou). Regardless of the challenge, Japanese people continue exposing their prejudices and biases in both legal and political terms by imposing strict limitations on employment opportunities for foreigners. In a report presented by Hurst, the author highlights the results of the survey, and according to it, 40% of the foreigners living in Japan experience derogatory remarks owing to their national and racial origin. The hostile reaction to the surge of immigrants results in the world’s criticism of the racial depiction of these people in Japanese mass media. The given problem is partly due to the unprecedented influence of the news media in Japan on the overall perception of the immigration process. According to the Japanese reporters, it distorts the “pure” Japanese nature.

Japan has been recognized for its media aggression that emphasizes the increasing number of crimes committed by immigrants who are coming to the country. Specifically, most of the Japanese reporters assume that many outlaw acts resulted from a higher percentage of foreigners in contrast to the Japanese natives (Japutra). It has led to criminalization, discrimination, and stereotyping of certain nationalities and numerous acts of racial discrimination against non-Japanese residents. The crime increase reporting in Japanese mass media is considered to be one of the major reasons for public concern. Importantly, Japanese media takes the leading role in creating false images of infected society. Most of the reports can prove that the news journalists express their subjective, negative attitude to the problems of immigration by accusing those of the outcomes of the crime rates in the nation. Hence, such stereotyping of people is also presented as racial profiling. Most of the subjective reports are located in local, Japanese news media, among which Sankei, Mainichi, and Yomiuri that are the most biased ones.

Research Question

In the light of the inadequate representation of foreigners in Japan mass media, several questions should be answered:

1. Does media emphasize ethnicities/nationalities of individual who are accused of crime to implicate some stigma and bias of being a foreigner?

2. What implication can stereotyping have for the future of Japanese news media on international level?

Research Implications

The categorized concept and prejudiced attitudes to foreigners can negatively contribute to the current image and reputation of Japanese people in the world who should recognize the employment deficit. Therefore, Japan’s exclusiveness towards the non-Japanese visitors can also impose some legal accusations as well as responsibilities for violating human rights and freedoms according to the international standards.

Significance of the Study

Recent studies on racism were related directly to the experiences and interviews with the non-Japanese residents who had cases of insult, improper management at work, and racial discrimination. The given studies can shed light on some broader, politically, and legally-induced perspectives that disguise Japanese mass media in their attempt to popularize authentic, pure culture by insulting foreigners in crimes. Although the issue is narrow-focused, it requires a deeper investigation of larger contexts, such as law, history, culture, and media ethics.

Relevance of the Study

The study correlates with the urgent global issues of racial discrimination that are of international significance as well. Revealing different dimensions and angles of the problem can also provide helpful guidelines and approaches for enhancing the tolerance to ethnic minorities and immigrants.

Literature Review

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Theoretical Issues and Frameworks.The issue of racism in the media is not a rare occasion, and it has been heavily discussed in the scholarly papers. Specifically, Shibuichi initiates the study on explaining the reasons and undercurrents of emerging anti-racism groups that opposed to discriminatory and xenophobic movements of Zaitokukai and other hate groups (72). Further, the author refers to the example of anti-racism movements to define how an advocacy movement can be developed in Japan from networks. While exploring this topic, the scholar argues that in Japan, these invisible networks have been raised to emphasize the importance of adherence to human rights and values. At the same time, the existence of these groups proved the presence of the xenophobia among conservative community.

Historical Background. The recent case on the reluctance of the Japanese society to acknowledge the actual ratio of foreigners in Japan has caused the inferior attitude towards these minority groups. According to the estimates conducted by Ritsu and Masana, “as the end of 2008, some 2.21 million foreign nationals were registered as residents of Japan” (119). In reality, foreign nationals still shape less 2% of the entire population in Japan. In contrast to Western economies where the ratio of minorities is much higher, the statistics seems to be underestimated or concealed. The investigation of previous reports could also expand on the urgency of the issue and shape the theoretical ground.

General Empirical Issues. Regardless of the concerns about the potential violation of freedom of speech, the new speech law was enacted in 2016 to protect the foreigners from mass media denigration. As a result of these legal intervention, the reports on xenophobic represented decreased by half (Arudou). At the same time, the law is a sort of recognition of the presence of the racial discrimination, and non-Japanese citizens definitely need protection against discrimination and unjustified accusations. Furthermore, the notorious Japanese news media Mainichi also recognized the enactment of the law, but its criticism of the issue reveals its subjective attitude to the issue.

Hypothesis. When media mentions crimes committed by foreigners, it often represents their ethnical and national affiliation for the purpose of implicating more stigma on the fact that foreigners contribute to the increased crime rate in Japan.

Theoretical Contribution. The proposed research topic can shed light on the broader issues of racism in the world and recognize the potential pitfalls of legislature in the countries. Furthermore, the research might also extend on the previous discussions of racism and prejudiced representation of foreigners in Japan. Specifically, multiple studies have been dedicated to the case of the inadequate attitude of the immigrants who strive to apply for privileged working position in the country.

Gaps in Research Literature. The literature lacks the content analysis of Japanese media articles in which there might be evidence of overt or concealed prejudiced representation of foreign workers. The content analysis of news media and reporting is presented, but the research on the Japanese context analysis is scarce and requires additional investigation.

Research Methods

The purpose of the paper is to explore the presence of biases and discrimination in Japanese mass media towards foreign workers. The attention has been placed on crime reporting to find the evidence when Japanese reporters call nationalities and ethnicities of non-Japanese residents who committed crimes. The cases would be analyzed through the search of negative connotation and direct reference to racism and discrimination in the chosen pieces. The research would be conducted in Japan to explore three major newspapers – Sankei, Mainichi, and Yomiuri. Such media channels are local-based that made it possible to reach credibility in exploring the research question.

The content analysis would be used since it allows to highlight the communication patterns through transcripts and text that relate to the core dimension of social interaction. It can also shed light on cultural and historical issues as well as provide both subjective and objective interactions among people.

Choosing the articles on criminal rates, it is essential to explore the percentage of words referring to the name of nationalities in the articles that relate to the negative accusations. Once the information is gathered, it would be possible to define in what context and with what phrases these words were used to find whether they are racially colored.

The independent variables involve the increased crime rate in Japan, whereas the dependent variable would involve the presence of affiliated nationalities and ethnicities to those crime rates. Additionally, the topics and spheres of discussion would also be present as dependent variables.

The measurement would be highlighted through the number of thematic nodes gathered in the articles as well as the number of articles found that relate to the topic of the discussion. The measurement would also involve the context in which the nationally affiliated words were used.

The observation and collection of the date would involve the keywords search methods. The tags include such definitions as “criminal”, “ethnic minority”, “crime”, “Korean”, “coding”, “nationality”, “immigrants”.

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Two articles from each newspaper would be chosen to contrast and compare the style and manner how journalists and reporters discuss the issues of criminal actions committed by foreigners and immigrants. As soon as the articles are chosen for the plan, it would be possible to adjust to the situation and start analyzing the content in general to find out the specifics of writing, style, and language. The optimal sampling plan involves at least two articles from one source to validate the research. Due to the fact that the articles are of public use, there is no need to gain legal permission for discussion and analysis.

The Anticipated Value of the Empirical Research

The explicit goals of the research are to explore the overall political and media climate in Japan and define whether the racial prejudices are still the urgent issue for the community. The specific question focuses on the presence of nationality-affiliated assaults and racial biases in media as well as how they affect the attitude of the Japanese people to non-Japanese residents. The major expectation of the project is to find out the evidence for the racial and discriminative attitude of reporters towards the ethnic and national minorities as well as explore deeper roots of such prejudices. The major limitations of the study refer to the lack of direct evidence of the racial discrimination the newspapers under analysis.

Practical Plan

The research would be divided into three stages. The first one would involve the search for relevant literature that can provide practical examples and cases studies that show texts with the use of words crime in regard to the individuals of non-Japanese nationality in one sentence. The theoretical issues would also be explored in terms of the history of racism in Japan. The stage would last for three months.

The second stage would be the practical one and would imply the search for concrete cases for the last three years to enhance the validity of the experiment. Such period would last up to six months.

The final stage would involve the actual content analysis and would last three months.

The budget would be required for databases and resources that need paid registration for extra resources that can be relevant to the topic. Moreover, there could also be logistical problems since some previous newspapers are not presented online, which requires to look for paper alternatives.

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