The society and the information 55: News media has fought 12

社会と情報 55: 戦った報道 12

1 戦車大展覧会

< 1. A tank exhibition hosted by Asahi Shimbun in 1939 >

< 1. 朝日主催の「戦車大展覧会」、1939年 >


From this issue, I examine the background that Japanese newspapers changed from pacifism to a favor of war.

This is a difficult problem, but I want to prevent only silly misunderstanding.






I wrote this article “News media has fought” because a man told me “Asahi Shimbun (newspaper) aided the war in those days”.

The conversion of the newspaper that represented anti-authority medias was surely a greet loss to people.


By the way, about this Japanese war, there are two extreme views.

A: Japan reluctantly moved into the continent for defense and strove for prosperity together with other race, but was trapped by the United States at last and suffered serious damage.

B: The old structure that had been symbolized by the Imperial system made the invasion of the Asian continent fanatical and impossible to restrain. And Japan caused serious damage at home and abroad.


Both include a truth, but these seem to be too unilateral.

Strangely, the person who criticized “the conversion of Asahi Shimbun ” has the opinion of A.

In other words, it has contradiction about criticizing the favor of war, and is merely problem of likes and dislikes.

However, in the underlying background of this criticizing, there is lack of understanding about “News media is forced into silence in the process that a nation advances to the war”.


When considering the world situation in those days, it can’t be denied that Japan was rescued from an invasion by achieving immediately the wealth and military strength of our nation.

(But, there are also countries that protected own independence by different ways in the same period, such as Thailand and Switzerland.)


We can’t avoid huger disaster that we may invite again without reflecting on that our nation invited the huge disaster at home and abroad.

All world history of warfare shows it.








A: 日本は防衛上やむなく大陸へ進出し、他民族との共栄を図ったが、ついには米国の罠に掛かり甚大な被害をこうむった。

B: 天皇制に象徴される古い体質が、大陸侵攻を狂信的で歯止めの効かないものにし、日本は周辺諸国に甚大な被害を与えた。












2 軍国主義

  • * 2


The reason that Asahi Shimbun aided this war

Because Asahi Shimbun wrote the reason in the book of “newspaper and war”, I use it as a reference.

I classified these reasons into three groups.

1A: News regulation and oppression by the government.

1B: Violent threat by the military, police, or right wing.


2A: Boycott campaign of Asahi Shimbun.

2B: The war coverage and the admiration for war attracted people’s attention.

2C: Newsperson became patriotic oneself.


3: The cooperation of military is indispensable for the information acquisition at battle area.















3 治安維持法

< 3. Peace Preservation Law enacted in 1925 >

< 3. 治安維持法成立、1925年(大正14年) >


I add some explanation.

1A and 1B were reasons of the maximum that newspaper must convert.

The oppression was severe, and it became impossible even to report the actual situation.

As a result, to continue the true report meant that the newsperson was sacrificed and injured, or had to leave before it, and the newspaper only closed it

For a long time, the oppression had strengthened, but Peace Preservation Law enacted in 1925 came to stop their resistance finally.

The government officials not only used violence directly but also assisted violence by no arresting the right wing that penetrated into a newspaper office with having swords.


The people knew a part of the oppression and violence, but public opinion to stop it did not increase.


2A-C means the whole change of the society, and if it didn’t occur, the result would be different.

The social trend became exclusive, came to wish Japan’s advancement to the continent, and came to accept the domestic control.


3 is a peculiar problem of the war coverage, it continues to happen in the world.

The dilemma for news media to report truth has always been balancing military’s cooperation with military’s control.


This continues next time.
































Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: The society and the information | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The society and the information 55: News media has fought 12

  1. chicochhna


    • コメントありがとうございます。私の周辺では、田舎のせいか保守的傾向が強くなり、マスコミの扇動に乗りやすい状況にあります。それで、少し不安なものですからがんばっています。ご助言ありがとうございます。

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