By Kenichi ASANO
Professor of Journalism
Doshisha University
Kyoto, Japan

Let me introduce myself briefly:

My name is Kenichi Asano, and I worked as a Kyodo News reporter from 1972 to 1994. I was assigned as Jakarta bureau chief of Kyodo News from 1989 to 1992. I became a professor of journalism at Doshisha University in April 1994. Doshisha is the second-oldest private university in Japan. Over the years, I have also published several books concerning journalism and my experiences in Indonesia*(1).

Japanese Efforts to Introduce Ombudsmanship 

Lawyers and academics in Japan first became interested in the concept of ombudsmanship in the late 1960s. The most important contribution of that time was a book titled "Ombudsmen and Others" by Dr. Walter Gellhorn.

Dr. Nobuo Naritomi, who is a practicing lawyer, establised a research comittee under the Japan Bar Association and, in 1979, proposed a law draft of "The Japanese Version of a Model Ombudsman."

In the same year, Professor Y. Ohki (known by his pen-name of Kenzaburo Shiomi), now an I.O.I. individual member, published a book titled "Ombudsman in Sweden." He used this book as a textbook during lectures that he made during one semester at the law faculty of St. Paul University in Tokyo.

I was a news reporter of Kyodo News at that time. I had come to know the Swedish Press Accountability System through this book. I had a chance to meet Professor Ohki (Shiomi), and could gain a lot of knowledge from him. I later flew to Stockholm and Helsinki to cover the press ombudsman and press council systems in Nordic countries. I was looking for a way for Japan to get out of the stalemate of harmonizing a free press and the individual integrity of its people. I thought we needed to have something like the Swedish press ombudsman system in Japan. Together, Professor Ohki and I started to work on introducing the idea of ombudsmanship in our society.

A Long and Winding Road

Almost 20 years have passed since then. And yet, the ombudsman system in Japan is, in the broadest definition of "ombudsman," still in its infancy. In our country, there is no parliamentary ombudsman system as per the IBA-IOI standard. We have no other legitimate ombudsmen anywhere in Japan.

In recent years, so-called "regional or municipal ombudsmen" have become very active in many prefectures and local self-governing bodies. They are mostly guided by regulations enacted by these local, self-governing bodies. The Local Autonomy Law in Japan allows only the governor of a local self-governing body to nominate an ombudsman. Therefore, a local assembly cannot nominate one.

The function, then, of these "regional ombudsmen" is complaint-handling rather than working as a "watchdog" on behalf of the general public. In other words, they fall under the "other complaint-handling systems" as defined in "Ombudsman and Others" by Dr. Gellhorn.
Apart from the government or national parliament, nongovernment voluntary activities -- such as "Citizen Ombudsmen" groups -- have been very active in Japan. They are composed of lay citizens, including lawyers and certified public accountants. "Citizen Ombudsmen" groups got their start in 1985 and thereafter spread to various parts of the nation. The main thrust of these groups was to disclose or expose the budget-wasting activities of authorities and public servants. These citizens groups are using the freedom-of-access right to public documents that were enacted in the "freedom of information" regulations of the local self-govering bodies. These citizens groups have no direct connection to public institutions or their laws and regulations. The staffs of these volunteer groups, of course, receive no salary for their activities.

The number of the persons referred to as "ombudsmen"*(2) in Japan have increased in various facilities for the elderly and in child-welfare institutions. But they work purely on "non-government voluntary activities" or via third-party bodies, through which certain citizens are "entrusted" by these institutions.

In Japan, the parliament and central and local governments are not much interested in the roles of "watchdog for the people." These official authorities often insist that parliamentary members DO represent the people and speak on behalf of them. They also claim that Japan already has an administration-monitoring section within the government administration; they nominate and control an Administration Consulatation Commissioner as well as a Civil Liberties Commissioner. They state that this is enough.

Our parliament and government bureaucracies, then, as you can see, are not zealous about accepting any kind of Euro-American model of "watchdog" or ombudsman for the people.

Ombudsmanship and the Japanese Press

Professor Shiomi's book "What is an Ombudsman?", published in 1996, explained the parliamentary ombudsman and other similar systems worldwide. It traced back the ombudsman movement over the last 20 years in analyzing how the Japanese parliament and government had been so reluctant to establish an ombudsman system. He argued that the people of Japan need a legitimate ombudsman system. By extension, the very same thing can also be said in the field of the press in this country.

An important mission of the press in any nation is to watch, listen and report the facts -- especially those facts that are hidden by the authorities -- accurately and objectively. When journalists make mistakes, they are obligated to issue a correction and apologize. Under a press ombudsman/press council system, if the ombudsman issues a statement rebuking a certain article in a certain publication, then that press organization is responsible for reprinting that rebuke verbatim.

But we are far from that ideal in Japan, where the press serves essentially as the "right flank" to our parliament and governmental authorities. Press persons in Japan have little or no sensitivity concerning citizens' rights. These media people, rather, tend to side with the authorities and "watch over" ordinary citizens.

Freedom of the press and individual integrity are both basic human rights protected by the Japanese Constitution. However, I have observed a number of cases in which irreparable damage has been done to people's lives and reputations by an overzealous press convinced that law enforcement is one of its duties.

I undertook surveys in several cases to find out how the news media tend to function as a support, rather than a counterbalance, to official authorities. Examples were: a hotel employee who was indicted for murder in Oita, Mr. Yoshiyuki Kouno in the Matsumoto sarin gas-attack case, and Mr. Richard Jewell, an American suspected in the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing incident. I also reviewed the reporting of the murder and decapitation of an 11-year-old boy in Kobe by a 14-year-old schoolboy. "Focus," a pictoral Japanese weekly, published a photograph of the youth suspect, thereby violating Japan's Juvenile Law. I interviewed persons closely involved in this case, as well as reporters, officials and readers of the story.

In these cases, citizens -- including innocent individuals -- were immediately portrayed as the perpetrators upon their arrest by police. It is obvious from these cases that the Japanese press is interfering with the right to a fair trial. The solution, then, to this problem must come from within the news media and from among Japanese journalists themselves. Press councils or press ombudsman systems in Japan are possible remedies. Along with Professor Shiomi, I have been proposing since 1985 to establish a media accountability system here by presenting a Japanese model.

Organ Transplant Cases and Media Coverage

Only seven cases of organ transplants following brain death have taken place in Japan since the Organ Transplantation Law was enacted in October 1997. Why do most Japanese people hesitate to donate organs after brain death has been declared?

Although the majority of Japanese people would not consider themselves religious, they do become serious adherents to Shintoism, Buddhism or other beliefs when they or their family members face death. This is because they apparently do not want any harm to come to the dying person's body.

There has long been debate in the Japanese parliament as to whether or not we should regard brain death as "legal death" for human beings. Very strict conditions are required under the Organ Transplantation Law: The consent of the donor's family is indispensable, as is a donor's signature of consent.

There is also a deep-rooted distrust of medical doctors by Japanese society. Many Japanese seem afraid that they could lose out on receiving full lifesaving treatment in an emergency if they carry a brain-death donor card.

The practices of the mass media in Japan have stood out in making the situation even more complicated. A Japanese citizen involved in such a transplant case has to be careful that his or her identity is not publicly disclosed through "pack journalism." The first brain-death organ transplant case in Japan occurred in Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku: The government-sponsored NHK television network, similar to England's BBC, had undertaken coverage of the incident even before a brain-death test under the law had begun.

More than 200 reporters had rushed to the hospital there and set up a "transplant kisha club" (a "kisha club" being a form of self-imposed "press club" system in Japan). Several young reporters were actually sent to the donor's house to obtain coverage. The doctors in the case went so far as to hold a press conference, reading to members of the assembled press a message of protest from the donor's family. The relatives of the first donor blasted the Japanese media for being "inhuman."

Most of the relatives of the seven donors in the case even rejected disclosing to the press such information as the name of the disease, which the Ministry of Public Welfare had agreed to reveal to the public.

The mass media here in Japan, for their part, have not made any commendable efforts to come up with general guidelines that would balance the transparency of the transplantation practice with the protection of individual privacy. Media people continue to insist that real-time coverage is a must for checking the overall process of transplantation due to brain death.

But this is a double standard: Not one Japanese journalist knew that the late prime minister, Mr. Keizo Obuchi, had been suddenly hospitalized awhile back for brain treatment -- until the Japanese government announced it 22 hours later. News reporters had kept themselves away from the hospital, following a request for "protection of privacy" from Mr. Obuchi's family and doctor.

"Fighting" for a Truly Free Press

Generally speaking, the level or quality of politics in Japan is not high -- compared with Japan's world ranking in technology or economics.

I worked at the Chiba Prefecture bureau of Kyodo News from 1974 to 1981. Chiba lies in the east of Tokyo, where the New Tokyo International Airport (Narita) is located. Many conservative party candidates in that area distribute 10,000-yen bills to voters' homes. Big companies also force their employees to vote for a candidate who will work for industry.

Political parties are not that matured, either. "The only party in Japan that you can call a 'political party' in the understanding of the West is the Japan Communist Party," Philippe Pons of the French newspaper Le Monde once told me. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has been ruling Japan for most of the postwar era, represents Japanese business circles and the bureaucracy. Other parties, such as those that work for certain institutions like trade unions or religious organizations, are not real political parties. Some politicians in Japan are even linked with the "yakuza," the Japanese mafia. Political parties in Japan, as a whole, are not well-united by political ideology.

More than 60 percent of the Japanese population voted recently in national elections in June 2000. In urban areas, a majority of citizens do not even vote at all. In local gubernatorial or mayoral elections, the voting rates are sometimes around 30 percent.

A huge imbalance involving the "value" of a single vote is another reason why parliamenatry democracy does not work here: One vote in big cities has a value of about one-fifth of the rural areas.

I personally think that such weaknesses in Japanese democracy stem from our country's history. The Japanese people did not fight hard enough to implement democratic principles themselves. Our modern-day Constitution was introduced to us only after the Japanese Imperial Army had surrendered in 1945. The new Constitution came gift-wrapped for us by the American forces. We Japanese, it is safe to say, lack the tradition of a grassroots democracy. Throughout history, the Japanese people have hesitated to criticize authority, and this stands true to this day.

Another factor contributing to the poor state of democracy in Japan today is Japanese journalism. Far from being like the "watchdogs" of their Western counterparts, political reporters in Japan are mostly the "lap dogs" of prominent politicians. This is exemplified in the notorious "kisha club" system -- an exclusive, closed system of media organizations that is kept in place by major newspapers and broadcasting companies themselves.

Japanese political news reporters usually depend on leaks from ruling-party members of parliament. Such reporters often visit the private residences of these politicians and various other high-ranking officials. That's how they get their "scoops." In this way, you can see that political news in Japan is far from being objective and impartial reporting.

Democracy at What Cost?

Japan is a rather young player in the field of modern democracy. There were no voting rights for Japanese women in the prewar period. Up to Aug. 15, 1945, when Japan surrendered, the nation had been under a totalitarian fascist regime that caused chaos throughout Asia. Japanese democracy was built at the cost of more than 20 million innocent people all over the Asia-Pacific region -- including more than three million people in Indonesia. Imperial Japan foolishly treated Asian people as the "sons and daughters" of Emperor Hirohito. It forced Asian people as a whole to believe in Japan's own ideology of an "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere."

Imperial Japan, when confronted by those who strongly resisted the Japanese military's invasions, was forced to retreat. But not before more than three million Indonesian people, for example, lost their lives due to violence, hunger and disease during the three-and-a-half-year attack on that country by the Japanese Imperial Army.

To this day, issues concerning compensation to "romu-sha" (forced laborers), former "heiho" (assisting soldiers) and "ianfu" (sex slaves) -- all of whom were forced to serve the Japanese Imperial Army -- remain unresolved today. At the same time, the Japanese government hides from its citizens (via the public school system) the true history of Japan, including the 50 years of military expansionism after Japan "integrated" Taiwan in 1895.

In Japan, ultra-rightists are still very active. A movie titled "Pride," which glorified wartime prime minister Hideki Tojo as a hero, was widely accepted by Japanese society. Yoshinori Kobayashi's cartoon book "Senso-ron," which views Japanese expansion into Asia as having "liberated" Asian peoples from Western imperialism, sold more than half a million copies in Japan.

I am very much concerned these days by the Japanese government, and most Japanese people, ignoring Article 9 of our precious Constitution. This article not only denounces the threat of use of military force as a means of settling international disputes, but also prescribes that "land, sea and air forces, as well as other potential war forces, will never be maintained." In reality, however, the Japanese Self-Defense Force (SDF) budget is the third largest in the world. "If you look at the SDF from abroad," high-ranking Japanese diplomats openly say, "it is undoubtedly a military force."

The Japanese people must adopt the "rule of law" principle in politics. Due process in politics is absolutely necessary.

The Universal Role of a Free Press

Brian Covert, an American journalist living in Osaka, Japan, clarifies the duties of journalists as follows:

-- To fulfill the journalistic role in a democratic society, journalists have to be an independent "watchdog" over authority.
-- Journalists should speak up on various social issues. They should show the way for promoting reforms in society.
-- Journalists must maintain a healthy skepticism toward authority.
-- Journalists should act as the "voice of the voiceless," speaking on behalf of minorities.
-- Journalists should promote the free flow of information -- ethically.
-- Finally, and most importantly, journalists must work to earn the credibility and respect of the general public.

To carry out free and fair elections, a free flow of information is essential. In other words, free access to public documents is needed. Active journalism can check on what the authorities are doing. A free press is most essential to the dynamism of a modern society.

The new trend toward "public journalism" (or "civic journalism") that is practiced in communities in several nations is worth looking at: The news media not only report what is going on, but also help set the agenda of issues for the election. In this type of public journalism, the citizens themselves participate in news-making activities.

I think you can agree with me that the most important role of journalism is to provide people with a wide range of information so as to promote democracy. With such information in hand, the people themselves can then decide for whom to vote.

Through the recent development of the Internet and other new media, we, the citizens of the world, can work on setting up a "universal principle" of journalism. At its best, journalism indeed serves the interests of global citizens -- not merely the interests of any one state.

Why the Japanese Press is a Lap Dog

I like to refer to Japanese police reporters as "police officials with pens." Journalists in Japan are usually trained at police press clubs, and are "taught" to stay as close as possible to the officials so as to get valuable information from them. Government and police officials, from their side, however, only provide to reporters that information which benefits the powers-that-be. So, journalists become spokespersons for the authorities.

We do not have a Freedom of Information Act yet in Japan. Such a law is supposed to go into effect next year. We will see what happens.

But as the situation has stood for a long time, it is very hard to get access to public documents and reporters have to obtain information through private channels from the officials in power. In a survey done in the late 1980s, it was found that 90 percent of the daily distributed news of Kyodo News -- my former employer -- came from the press clubs operated by governmental authorities and Big Business.

Competition among the media companies in Japan is extremely harsh. When reporters are not worrying about about the "scoop," they must worry about ratings or subscription levels.

As corporate entities, newspapers and broadcasting stations are generally very huge and enjoy good business in Japan. Most big newspapers own television networks. For those reporters who play the game well over many years and rise to the top, they may be able to earn a wage that is disproportionately high compared to the rest of the Japanese labor force.

But that's where the sensitivity stops. Whenever a Japanese citizen claims that he or she was hurt by a news report, people in the Japanese news media usually offer no concern about the victim's human integrity. If media peole think of the welfare of everyday citizens at all, it is more or less in the area of complaint-handling or relieving the problem temporarily. The Japanese mentality, as is well known, is very obedient to authority. Conformity in line with the government and The Establishment is our national character. 

I would also like to mention a bit about our unique industrial structure. Most Japanese companies, including the press, have a system of lifetime employment and a "wage decision by service" period. It is still unusual for workers to move around much to other companies (though this seems to be slowly changing). The Japanese news media are also protected by a fixed-price system in the free market. Major dailies have their own satellite "sales stations" based all over the country. Newspapers are distributed to househols by these satellite stations.

New Prospects for the Future

In closing, it has been business as usual in Japan where the press and the public are concerned. While there exists little awareness of ombudsmanship in the minds of most Japanese press people, new developments on the horizon make it imperative that the press reconsider its traditional way of thinking about news coverage and how that coverage affects the general public.

The Japanese government and ruling parties are now proposing that the press establish its own press accountability system. The government is preparing to put together a Privacy Law that might regulate Japanese press activities. The Liberal Democratic Party is arguing that we should have statutory regulation to control the press -- unless the media organizations themselves take steps to establish a sysem of self-discipline. So as a result of all this, the Japan Newspaper Publishing Association enacted a new Press Ethics Code last June. It is now considering establishing a press council. The Federation of Japanese Newspaper Workers Union has been proposing a Japanese Press Council since 1997.

This is a very good chance for the Japanese press -- and the Japanese people -- to set up a press ombudsman/press council system in our country that works effectively for the benefit of all. Let us hope that this most valuable window of opportunity is not passed up.


*(1) See attached background information.

*(2) IOI's "Directory 2000" introduces "Ombudsman Offices Worldwide" in 108 countries and districts. It lists the names of more than 500 individuals. It includes not only "classical ombudsmen" who accord with the IBA/IOI definition of the word, but also those who specialize in specific fields and who are semi-official or nonofficial persons, such as elderly-care ombudsmen, university ombudsmen, Swedish Press ombudsmen and so on.

There are several Japanese figures listed who cannot be called ombudsmen. They are Mr. Shinji Higashida, Secretary of the Administration Management Agency of Japan, and Mr. Masajiro Kamada, Executive Director of the National Conference of Administration Consulting Commissioners, as well as other current and former governmental officials.

Conversely, the ombudsman of Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, is not listed in this "Directory 2000." The standard this directory uses to list ombudsmen is not clear.



Kenichi ASANO

Born: July 27, 1948
Nationality: Japanese
Religious affiliation: Protestant

・Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications, Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Letters, Doshisha University
・Professor of Journalism, Doctorate Degree Program, Department of Journalism, Graduate School of Letters, Doshisha University
Karasuma Imadegawa-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580, JAPAN

Tel: +81-251-3457 (or -3441)
Fax: +81-251-3066
E-mail 1:
E-mail 2:
(please send e-mail to both addresses)


252-606 Asukaicho, Horikawa Imadegawa-dori Higashiiru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-0054, JAPAN
Tel & Fax: +81-75-415-2420

7-13-6 Matsuba-cho, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba 277-0827, JAPAN
Tel: +81-471-34-5777
Fax: +81-471-34-8555

1. Education:

Faculty of Economics, Keio University, April 1968; B.A., economics, 1972; completed journalism studies at Institute of Journalism and Mass Communications Research, Keio University, 1972.

2. Teaching Experience:

・Institute of Journalism and Mass Communications Research, Keio University, Lecturer, Journalism, April 1993-March 1995
・Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications, Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Letters, Doshisha University, April 1994-present
・Professor of Journalism, Master's Degree Program, Department of Journalism Graduate School of Letters, Doshisha University, April 1994-present
・Professor of Journalism, Doctorate Degree Program, Department of Journalism, Graduate School of Letters, Doshisha University, April 1998-present
(Newly established doctorate degree program following approval by Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture in January 1997. I was approved as one of five faculty members to open the Doctorate Degree Program. I teach "Ethics of Journalism" and "Research in Mass Communications Law" in the Master's Degree Program and "Freedom of Communication and Mass Communications Law" in the
Doctoral Degree Program.)

3. Professional Experience:

・Reporter, departments of city news, Chiba bureau, radio & television news, and international news; Kyodo News, April 1972-February 1989
・Chief Correspondent, Jakarta Bureau; Kyodo News, February 1989-July 1992
・International News Department editor; Kyodo News, July 1992-March 1994

4a. Professional Publications (Japanese):

・"The Crime of Crime Reporting," Gakuyo Shobo, 1984
・"Criminal Reporting Reform," Nihon Hyoronsha, 1985  
・"Crime Reporting and the Police," Sanichi Shobo, 1987
・"The Emperor and the Mass Media," Sanichi Shobo, 1989 (with Hiroshi Sakai)
・"The Crime of Reporting Extremists," Sanichi Shobo, 1990
・"Objective Reporting," Chikuma Shobo, 1993
・"Expulsion Order: 1,200 Days in Covering Indonesia," Nihon Hyoronsha, 1993
・"Japan Could Become the Enemy of the World," Sanichi Shobo, 1994
・"The Principle of Anonymity in Reporting Crimes," Gakuyo Shobo, 1995 (with Masanori Yamaguchi)
・"Japan's Irresponsible Mass Media," Gendaijin Bunsha, 1996 (edited with Masanori Yamaguchi)
・"The Age of Media Fascism," Akashi Shobo, 1996
・"The Crime and Punishment of News Coverage of the Matsumoto Sarin Gas Incident," Daisan Bunmeisha, 1996 (with Yoshiyuki Kouno)
・"Japanese Universities and the Asia Pacific War," Nihon Keizai Hyoronsha, 1996 (with Atsushi Shirai, et al)
・"Debate: Do Newspapers Have a Future?" Gendaijin Bunsha, 1996 (editor)
・"The Second Offense of Reporting Crimes," Daisan Shokan, 1998
・"The Journalist's Conscience in Reporting Crimes," Daisan Shokan, 1998
・"The Emperor's Reporters: The Major Newspapers' 'Invasion of Asia'", Three
A Network, 1997
・"Aum Shinrikyo and the Mass Media," Daisan Shokan, 1997
・"Media Lynching," Ushio Shuppan, 1997
・"From a Hero to a Bomber," Sanichi Shobo, 1998
・"Wandering Report of Brain Death Transplant," Tsukuru Shuppan, 2000

4b. Professional Publications (English):

・"Case For The Anonymity Rule," The Daily Yomiuri, Dec. 12, 1987
・"Greens field a swamp campaign," South (business magazine of the developing world), May 1990
・"Indonesia's political dilemma," The Japan Times, Nov. 1, 1990
・"Japanese militarism rings alarm bells," New Straits Times, Malaysia, Dec. 21, 1991
・"Trial by media: ombudsman needed," Tokyo Weekender, June 7, 1996
・"Japan's Troubled News Media," The Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 29, 1997

-- Plus several other books and more than 100 articles in academic journals and magazines.

5. Academic Awards:

・American Field Service International Scholarship Exchange Student Program, 1966-1967
・Matsushita Foundation International Understanding Research Assistance Program, 1995-1996
・Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) from The Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, 1996-1997. The theme of my research was "How to Harmonize a Free Press and Individual Integrity."

6. Civic, Religious and Professional Services:

・Received license of English-language interpreter/tourist guide from Japanese Transport Ministry, February 1969
・One of the founders of "Liaison Committee on Human Rights and Mass Media Conduct" (JIMPOREN)
・Member of Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communications
・Member of Association of Former Kyodo News Reporters
・Speaker on "Problems of Modern Journalism," Convocation at DMH Hall, International Christian University, January 17, 1985
・Workshop Lecture on "Prevention of Crimes and Mass Media," Japan Society for Sociocriminology, Bukkyo University, October 8, 1985
・Special Lecture, The Hyogo Joint Summer Session at Sea, August 1990 and August 1992
・Workshop presentation on "Japan and ASEAN," International Symposium by Institute of International Strategy, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 8, 1991
・Research Meeting Lecture on "Crime Reporting and Crime Rates," Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communications, July 15, 1993
・Panelist at symposium on "Indonesian Development and the Role of NGOs," Japan-Indonesia NGO Network, July 29, 1993
・Workshop Lecture on "Southeastern Asian Press Under Japanese Military Rule," Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansei Gakuin University, June 9, 1996
・Workshop Lecture on "Prospects to Establish Japanese Press Council," Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communications, Kanazawa Gakuin University, June 9, 1996
・Workshop Lecture on "Media Accountability System and Press Ethics," Japan Society For Studies in Journalism and Mass Commucication, Tokyo Joho University, Oct. 26, 1996
・Delivered Lecture on "How prominent Japanese newspapers reported Korea's March 1st Independence Movement in 1919," International Symposium on Korea's
March 1st Independence Movement and Nonviolence Movement, March 1997
・Adviser for Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers Unions' research trip to Europe, May 1997
・Delivered lecture on "Privacy and Media" to National Diet Library staff, Oct. 6, 1997
・Delivered lecture on "The Japanese Press and Brain Death" at international symposium titled "Psychosocial Aspects of Organ Donation" during International Congress on Psychonephrology, June 2000
7. International and Other Experience:

・American Field Service International Scholarship student, Aug. 1966 -July 1967
・Member of Chiba Prefectural Friendship Tour to China, May 1979
・Member of UNICEF Japan's study tour to Cambodia, May 1988
・Chief Correspondent of Kyodo News Jakarta Bureau, Feb. 1989 to July 1992
・Member of Editorial Board of Journalism Studies from Sept. 1998-present. The
editors will be Bob Franklin (Sheffield University, UK) and Jenny McKay (Scottish Centre For Journalism, Strathclyde University); a third editor will be based in a Department of Journalism in the USA. The first issue wil be published in January 2000.

8. Research and Teaching:

・Comparative studies of media accountability systems in various countries so as to harmonize the rights of a free press and individual integrity and privacy. (I would like to implement the Swedish model of a Press Council in Japan after scrutinizing several problems to be solved.)
・Comparative studies to see how the mass media report crimes committed by juveniles in various countries.
・Research on the roles of the mass media in Southeast Asia.
・Continued research on journalism in Asian countries under Japanese military rule. (I plan to interview several more Japanese and Asian journalists who worked for Japanese military-controlled newspapers.)

・More details about my social activities can be found on the Internet, as follows:

--Homepage of Asano Seminar, Doshisha University:

--JIMPOREN homepage:


Copyright (c) 2000, Prof.Asano Ken'ichi's Seminar Last updated 2000.08.02