Jonathan M. Hall jmhall
Tue Jun 27 11:18:17 EDT 2000

Thanks to Aaron for his follow-up to my question on the sokaiya case.  I
had been wondering how much of this was a case of 'privacy' or 'victim's
rights' and how much was journalism's cozy relation with business
interests--of the kind that we were criticizing earlier on the list, though
then specifically in relation to film reporting.


>Basically, all the facts are there: the main office in Chuo-ku, the 
>consideration of rebuilding it, the change in management in January 1998. 
> All fit Shochiku.  (Though if someone thinks my supposition wrong, 
>please correct me).  As for why the paper did not mention the company by 
>name (it also did not mention the construction companies who really did 
>pay this guy money), part of it has to do with the fact none of this has 
>been specified in indictments (in general, Japanese papers will not even 
>print the name of a suspect until he or she have been arrested).  Also, 
>at this point, there's no clear indication Shochiku has done anything 
>wrong (like paying the guy money).  Again, Japanese papers (the major 
>ones, not the tabloids) are much more strict about protecting the privacy 
>of people and institutions than, say, the US papers, unless clear 
>wrong-doing has been established.  How much this has to do with fear of 
>libel is something I am less clear about, but Japanese papers do work by 
>clear rules regarding privacy (thus, for instance, the names of juvenile 
>offenders are never printed, even if convicted).  
>Aaron Gerow

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