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Title: Multiple Public Spheres in the Japan Times during World WarII: Focusing on the Asama Maru Incident(1940)
Authors: MATSUNAGA, Tomoko
Author's alias: 松永, 智子
Keywords: Japan Times
English-language newspaper
public sphere
transnational media
Issue Date: Nov-2011
Publisher: Lifelong Education and Libraries, Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University
Journal title: Lifelong education and libraries
Volume: 11
Start page: 133
End page: 146
Abstract: This study examines the public sphere in English-language newspapers in Japan during the Second World War. Focusing on the Japan Times, which was the biggest one, this paper shows that it was English, functioning as an international language that enabled this unique public sphere. The Japan Times was established to improve Japanese international relations. Founded in 1897 with the support of the government, businessmen and researchers, the Japan Times was the first English-language newspaper in Japan to be edited and managed by Japanese. Unlike contemporary English-language papers owned by Westerners, it presented Japanese perspectives and opinions to the Western World. It was welcomed by the Japanese at first, but subscribers didn't increase to the extent that was expected because of the small population of people who could read English in Japan at that time. Although the paper was expected to function as Japanese propaganda after the Manchurian incident in 1931, it maintained a broad readership and a mix of content and wide range of opinions, not similar to their privately owned counterparts. Closed to Japanese but open to foreigners, not only Westerners but also Asians, it presented multiple public spheres to the world. In this paper, I focus on the Asama Maru Incident (1940)-a scandal that eventually propelled Japan into World War II- to reveal how the Japan Times was a forum for open international discussion. The critical role of English in facilitating this fomentation of opinions is also examined. Finally, English media in the Asian Context is also discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/152086
Appears in Collections:Number 11

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