Televisiual aid to Iraq

Khash Najib najibjp at
Thu Oct 23 01:34:52 EDT 2003

NHK's "Project X" will be broadcast on Syrian TV with
funding from the Japan Foundation.
I am not sure how “aid” and “cultural exchange" are
differentiated, though.
The Japan Foundation helps Japanese programs be broadcast
on foreign channels in industrial countries as well.
Perhaps choosing a program like Project X for a third
world country means sending a "Gambatte" message? Also,
the popularity of Oshin and her endless struggle as seen
on Mid-East TVs has been connected by some to the
less-than-desirable condition of women in that region. I
read somewhere (was it on Kinejapan?) that a woman was
imprisoned in Iran for saying that Oshin would be a better
role model for Iranian women that Fatima (the daughter of
Prophet Mohammad). 
Perhaps the funding is considered as aid if there is a
motivational message targeting an underdeveloped society
in the program, and as cultural exchange otherwise?
The Japan Foundation has a collection of of about 120
Japanese films with Arabic subtitles, based mainly in
Cairo and used for what in that case is referred to as
cultural exchange. Japanese embassies in different Arab
countries borrow from that collection and in many cases
pay for the transportation fees. Would it be considered
"aid" if some of those films are shown in Baghdad, and
"exchange" if they are shown in Tunis?
Spotting the headline "OSHIN Will Be Shown On Iraqi TV"
all over the media, I could realize that the "aid" label
is politically-motivated.
Still, Oshin and Project X are important works (though
there have been some controversy about what message is
Project X sending out) that Iraqi citizens will have a
chance to see now, so all in all it is an appreciated
Najib El-Khash

 --- Aaron Gerow <onogerow at> からのメッセージ
> The morning paper reported that as one part of
> Japan's aid program to 
> Iraq, the Japan Foundation, a semi-autonomous agency
> of the Foreign 
> Ministry, will be paying to have the TV program
> _Oshin_ broadcast on 
> Iraqi television. The program about a young girl
> battling against 
> poverty to rise to success against the background of
> Japan's 
> modernization, has been popular in Asia and the
> Middle East.
> Can anyone think of other cases where Japanese
> moving images have been 
> used as foreign aid?
> Aaron Gerow
> KineJapan owner

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