Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"After The Media Has Gone: Fukushima, Suicide and the Legacy of 3.11" (M. Segawa at TAPJ)

After The Media Has Gone: Fukushima, Suicide and the Legacy of 3.11 


For the media, time is of the essence in a news story.  The March 11, 2011 disaster attracted thousands of reporters and photographers from around the world.  There was a brief deluge of Japanese and international media coverage on the first anniversary, this spring.  Now the journalists have packed up and gone and by accident or design Japan’s government seems to be mobilizing its agenda, aware that it is under less scrutiny.

The press pack has disappeared like a ghost since this April.  The influx of foreign media has suddenly stopped, as I can attest since I worked as a translator and aid to many foreign journalists in the year up to the 3.11 anniversary in 2012.  Using the keywords ‘Fukushima’ and ‘nuclear plant’ in Japanese to scour the Nikkei TELECOM 21 search engine shows 9,981 domestic news items in April 2012, just over half the 17,272 stories the previous month.

As if to take advantage of the precise timing of the media evacuation, the municipal government of Minami-soma city, Fukushima Prefecture began implementing a blueprint planned some time earlier.  In the dead of night on Monday April 16th, the city lifted the no-entry regulations and changed evacuation zone designations that had stood since March 12, 2011.  The decision allowed people to return to the district of Odaka and some parts of the Haramachi district.

... full story at The Asia-Pacific Journal.

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