The society and the information 56: News media has fought 13

社会と情報 56: 戦った報道 13



< 1. Asahi Shimbun >

< 1. 朝日新聞 >


I again examine the background that Japanese newspapers changed.





< 2. Circulation of prewar newspaper. By Mainichi Shimbun HP >

< 2. 戦前の新聞発行部数。毎日新聞HPより >


Once, how did Japanese newspaper progress together with war?


The circulation of three newspapers increased at each outbreak of war as this graph shows, and the newspaper achieved better performance by approving of the war (continent invasion was a national interest).

The oppression of government toward newspapers became severer depending on the size and antiauthoritarianism of it, but adversely, the achievements became bigger due to cooperating with the government.

The reason why a newspaper cooperates with the government is complicated, but this is big, too.







< 3. In 1937, Asahi Shimbun set a new record for a flight between London and Tokyo >

< 3. 1937年、朝日新聞が東京ロンドン間飛行で新記録樹立 >


The upper graph shows a strange phenomenon.

Asahi Shimbun (red line) got ahead of Mainichi Shimbun and increased achievements threefold.

In 1937, Asahi Shimbun participated in a military periodic airline that linked Fukuoka to Shanghai in China, and topped other newspapers in information acquisition of battlefront.






On the other hand, Yomiuri Shimbun (black line) increased achievements 19 times during the same period.

This seems to begin when Shoriki Matsutaro of former police official became the president of Yomiuri Shimbun that had gotten into financial trouble in 1924.

He not only had business talent, but also was near a center of the government, and assumed an important post of the Imperial Aid Association in 1940 at the year before the Pacific War outbreak.







< 4. The Imperial Aid Association >

< 4. 大政翼賛会 >


War coverage and achievements

I look at two war coverages of Liutiaohu Incident in 1931 that were published by two companies that would become to differ in the achievements in future. [Note 1]


Mainichi Shimbun carried this news “United States, responses to Manchurian Incident” with a headline in 5 days after the incident.

“Japanese side insists that China soldier fired a shot first, but this doesn’t correspond with the information that entered the U.S. Government.

There is much evidence that Japan forces performed by basing a careful program.”

This was a New York special dispatch, and “a prejudice of American reporter” was added beside the headline small.

Under the oppression in those days, even this article might be the most resistance to tell people the truth.











Yomiuri Shimbun carried this news “It isn’t absurdity that we protect our established interest that we have acquired the hard way for a few decades” with a big headline in 10 days after the incident.

It was added to the headline that “a guide of Manchurian Incident” and “defend our lifeline to the death”.


I summarize the article.

* Asian countries should prevent this violent wind of Russian eastward in cooperation.

* Therefore, our country fought the Russo-Japanese War in Manchurian, and lost 200,000 casualties and 80 percent of national expenditure.

* China forces not only didn’t cooperate with defense to Russia, but also attacked our military. Thus, our military pursued the China forces of more than 10,000 soldiers and swept it away.


It is easy to imagine that people of that time had great sympathy for this article.

Thus, there were differences among the attitudes of each newspaper, but all came to cooperate with the war after all.












Adding one word for honor of the mediaperson, after this, it doesn’t mean that all cooperated with the war.

Some local newspapers, famous editors, reporters had struggled for telling the truth.

But, unfortunately they did not come to change the situation.





What is important?

Even in many commonwealths of modern times and the present day, the people often went out of control without understanding the fact of the war.

There always were a situation that the information was disturbed, and strong force to foment war.

I chase such situation of Japan between middle of 1920s and the early 1930s.


This continues next time.













[Note 1]




Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: The society and the information | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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