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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 May 22 - 28  > NHK’s excessive coverage of Trump’s visit to Japan
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2019 May 22 - 28 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

NHK’s excessive coverage of Trump’s visit to Japan

May 28, 2019

NHK (national public broadcast system) stood out from all other Japanese media for its extensive reportage of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo entertaining President Donald Trump during his 4-day visit to Japan. Despite its role as the sole public broadcaster in Japan, NHK effectively gave a hand to help Abe show to the public how close he is to Trump in an effort to attract Japanese voters in the House of Councilors election.

Trump arrived at Japan on May 25 as a state guest. NHK reported breaking news of Trump’s arrival at Haneda Airport. On the following day, Trump and Abe played golf together in the morning, attended a sumo tournament in the afternoon, and had dinner at a Japanese-style barbecue restaurant. NHK broadcast live the two leaders heading to the golf course and to the restaurant, even utilizing cameras on helicopters.

On May 27, NHK covered live the meeting between Trump and the Emperor. NHK’s seven p.m. news show extended its broadcasting time to report on the imperial banquet.

However, important points are missing in NHK reports. After their lunch at the golf course, Trump tweeted, “Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan.” At the beginning of the dinner with Abe on the day, Trump said to the press, “[T]he Prime Minister and I talked a lot today about trade and military and various other things. And I think we had a very productive day.” NHK news coverage offered no commentary or analysis on what these remarks will mean to Japan.

In addition, a member of the NHK’s Commentators Bureau, who is believed to be a close friend of Abe, in news programs spoke as if she were a government spokesperson, saying that Abe demonstrated a good relationship with Trump and that the Japan-U.S. ties have proven to be strong.

Past related articles:
> Civil group demands NHK news programs become independent of government influence [March 23, 2019]
> NHK under fire for its biased reports supportive of Abe gov't [January 10, 2019]
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