How media gives effect on social movement over Diaoyu-dao issue

by Rina Terasaki

Variety of social movements happen in worldwide, and also in Japan. As we learned in the class, social movements can bring people’s attention into issues and moreover can influence the public policy. To bring public attentions more and more, social and industrial media act a big role in the movements. One characteristic of media is bias. It only leans to one side or one specific position, and keeps insisting that they are the only right. Sometimes, ironically, media even announce things over and worse than its actual, so that it makes people confused and blindness to other ‘reasonable’ information. So the part taken by media in social movements can be said as very huge.

In this summer of 2012, there happened many movements in Japan and China over the issue of ownership of islands which is called ‘Senkaku (Diaoyu-dao) issues.’ I was on an exchange program to Beijing, China at the time of the beginning of the series of these issues. Many movement were actually happened and also media in not only Japan, China and worldwide also showed them for not a short time. Then, I felt there is happening one thing, but since the difference of information, (and also nationalism and other reason on the background), the recognition among people in these different countries also turns to be scattered. In this essay, I would like to explain the facts of ‘Senkaku (Diaoyu-dao) issues’ from each side and analyze how our recognition of this issue were made.

After Japanese governments’ announce of purchase of the island, in China, not only through the central TV news and newspapers, but also through many forms of medium, it was informed to nations. Sina Weibo, which is Chinese twitter, informed registrants the newest things at any time. This way, the issue was spread to be understood by even people who do not have television and computer. The 19th of August 2012, huge people took part in a demonstration in Shenzhen. People who participated destroyed Japanese things such as cars and shops, and Japanese TV companies kept airing repeatedly this scene on news. As I felt, hearing voices around me, abuseful scene gave people impression of savage, especially to elder people. Also at the governmental phase, the central government of China wrote propaganda on foreign masmedia. Although it seems just like propaganda that has no justifiable data as people say in Japan, through they keep insisting strongly, it can be said that ordinal people’s recognition over the world has been lean toward to Chinese side. This seems similar to what Joseph Caldwell Wylie says the “Cumulative strategy.” I felt media how much effect public opinion. This way, social movements including demonstration and a part of riot would be justified

As I wrote above, Senkaku (Diaoyu-dao) issue consists of ‘image-making’ factor. Although the fact should be one, through media with different position, and their partial strong insists, image that receiving end get would be decided differently.


-Beijing news portal. “Shenzhen Diaoyudao Demonstration hurts Japanese Cars” 25.Aug.2012 written by David Cao

-Kaikoku Bouei Journal 29.Sep.2012


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