Japan Government and Media Profile

Japan Political Orientation

Japan - Government and Media - Right Biased - Conservative


Government Type: Parliamentary Government with a Constitutional Monarchy
Chief of state: Emperor Naruhito
Leader: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
Political Party: Liberal Democratic Party
Political Position: Right 

Press Freedom

MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 79.98 – Mostly Free
World Press Freedom Rank:
Japan 68/180

In 2022, Reporters Without Borders ranked Japan 68/180 in their annual Press Freedom Index, saying although Japan respects “the principles of media pluralism” and the system “continues to discriminate against freelancers and foreign reporters” due to the tradition of “Kisha clubs” (reporters’ clubs).

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

The government has minimal direct control over the media outlets since most are privately owned and financed through advertising/subscription revenue; however, the Government has indirect control over media. Japanese Broadcasting Organization NHK is a public corporation primarily funded by license fees except for NHK overseas, which the government funds. However, the prime minister appointed the NHK board of governors, and its budget is approved by the Diet (the national legislature of Japan).

In summary, the major criticism regarding government influence in Japan revolves around the traditional Reporters Club System (Kisha Club) and the government’s ties to that system which is a huge problem. Additionally, five corporate groups, Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, and The Nikkei, dominate newspaper ownership resulting in a corporate monopoly.

Country Rating Methodology

Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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