Japanese media and the North Korean missile

Our PhD student Chris Perkins is in Japan carrying out fieldwork. Here are his thoughts on Japanese media, and click on the link for more.


Fight fire with fire? Maybe it can’t be helped...

On the 5th of April 2009, after a few false alarms, North Korea launched a ballistic missile with the (supposed) intention of putting a communications satellite into orbit. It was feared that parts of the missile would fall on prefectures in the north of Japan’s main island Honshu. In the end the missile passed over Japanese airspace, its first stage dropping into the Sea of Japan. The launch was the latest episode in turbulent North Korea – Japan relations. It also marked a possible turning point in political moves towards revision of the peace constitution. Such revision would require national debate, and it is being hotly contested in academic circles. However, here I want to show how television programmes contribute to the framing of events such as the North Korean missile so that military action and constitutional revision take on an air of inevitability with the general public, becoming commonsensical, and as a result setting out the terrain for public debate in favour of revision. MORE