Okinawa's Anti-Base Protest in Japan's National Newspapers

By Okuda, Hiroko | NAWA: Journal of Language and Communication, December 2011 | Go to article overview

Okinawa's Anti-Base Protest in Japan's National Newspapers


Okuda, Hiroko, NAWA: Journal of Language and Communication


Since September 2009 in which the Democratic Party of Japan came to power, Washington raised concerns about its campaign promises to call for a more "equal partnership" with the United States. A critical media approach to the newspaper coverage over the Futenma base problem explicates the ways in which Tokyo's policy change was framed in the national, local, and international light. In the eyes of mainland Japanese, "Futenma" turned into such personal attacks at new premier Hatoyama as "left-leaning," "indecisive," and "inability" to take the initiative. For Okinawans, "Futenma" became a symbol of excessive environmental damage as well as an unfair burden. Given the political quagmire, Washington perceived the breakdown in talks to be a tough choice between appeasing the U.S. government and being responsive to domestic public support for the inexperienced Hatoyama administration.

Okinawa's antibase protest unspoken in Japan's national newspapers

Although international and local stories may appear differently in Japanese national newspapers, the national papers shape our worldview. In case of the relocation of the U.S. Marine air base in Futenma off the southern island, Japanese national papers altered the perspective and details shown to give more, or less, information. What was shown? What was not shown? Whose voices were missing? How was it covered up? Why was it covered up? This study explores the ways in which Japan's largest daily newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun, nationally conditioned the significance of "Futenma" from the Democrats' historic election victory over the long-governing Liberal Democrats on 30 August 2009 to the resignation of newly elected Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio on 2 June 2010. In order to uncover what makes Okinawa "mute" in the national coverage, the study takes into account such American and local Japanese papers as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Okinawa Times, and the Ryukyu Shimpo.

Since September 2009 when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) came to power, a majority of Japanese expected the new regime to keep one of its campaign promises to call for a more "equal partnership" with the United States. A critical approach to the Yomiuri Shimbun covering up the Futenma issue explicates a relativist view of the newspaper, especially how differently Japan's policy shift might be presented from the American and local Japanese papers. In Japanese national dailies, the "Futenma" story turned into personal attacks on the new premier Hatoyama such as "left-leaning" or "left-of-center" tendency, "indecisive" character, and "incompetent." The new regime faced a tough choice between appeasing the U.S. government and assuring the domestic public that the government would fulfill its campaign promises. Because of the cover up, the "Futenma" story lost its possibilities to appeal to the mainland Japanese to reflect on environmental damage as well as on the unfair burden imposed on the local residents of Okinawa.

What follows first provides the context in which the Futenma issue came out on the national scene, then focuses on three rhetorical strategies used by the Japanese national daily Yomiuri Shimbun to cover up "Futenma" in the eyes of mainland Japanese, and describes the consequences of Hatoyama's attempt to review Japan's security alliance with the U.S.

Context

Fifteen years ago, on 12 April 1996, U.S. Ambassador Walter F. Mondale and Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto Ryutaro made the dramatic announcement via TV that the United States will "return" the 1,200-acre Futenma Marine air base to Japan within Ave to seven years. On one hand, this unexpected base deal was planned to sooth tensions over the U.S. forces before President Bill Clinton's arrival for a state visit. On the other hand, the agreement addressed "legitimate concerns the people of Okinawa have about noise levels, access to land" by Japan and the U.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Okinawa's Anti-Base Protest in Japan's National Newspapers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.