Japan Media Profile

Last updated on November 21st, 2021 at 05:11 pm

Japan Government and Media


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 


World Press Freedom Rank: Japan 67/180

In 2021, Reporters Without Borders ranked Japan 67/180 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).

Government Influence on Media: 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.


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