Research Project by Tominaga Seminar 2016-1: “Why Does Nationalistic TV Program Increase in Japan?” 2/3

  In this article, we introduce the research of “Nationalistic TV Programs in Japan” serially. Part.1 is uploaded in here.

5. Characteristics of the media industry in Japan
  In this section, we investigate the characteristics of media industry. Firstly, we introduce the advertising revenue of newspaper, magazine, radio, TV and internet to compare the environment to producing media contents.

  From the figure 5-1, we can discuss that advertising revenue have strong relationship with the economy and declined dramatically from around 2008. We can find that production costs are declined as well because they are invested from advertising revenue. Especially, TV Tokyo have the smallest expenditure to produce TV programs.

  In this situation, how strategy is good for producing TV programs? We hypothesize that nationalistic TV programs is suitable solution for the situation of present Japan. In 2015, we can see five nationalistic TV programs.

  Table 5-3 shows that three of the five were programs produced by TV Tokyo (and the affiliated TV stations). Why TV Tokyo produce the TV programs which focus on wonderfulness of Japan? We introduce the roundtable discussion of three person in TV Tokyo. It is published in TV Tokyo Website.
  Participants of that roundtable discussion are Takayuki Ito who is producer, Kaori Nagatomo who engages contents business and Osamu Obatake who is charge of “Wafu Sohonke” which is the TV program focuses on wonderfulness of Japan.

  K. Nagatomo: Our strength is originality and creative products are produced in TV Tokyo. We have to develop the programs with our knowledge because resource is relatively small.
  O. Obatake: We are pretty glad when we defeat other TV programs which have larger budget than us. (

  From this dialogue, we can say that the staff in TV Tokyo have an ideal that they emphasize their idea and originality than resources. Thus their attitudes is good environment for creating the TV program focusing Japan because it need less budget. Actually, table 5-3 shows that each nationalistic TV programs published by TV Tokyo continue for a relatively long time than other TV stations’ ones.   Moreover, we think that other TV stations followed the success stories of TV Tokyo. We can argue that nationalistic TV Program can be broadcast stably with reducing the budget. It is one of the reason why does nationalistic TV Program increase and it becomes more and more attractive content for TV stations in nowadays environments for mass media.
  However, this section focused only the sender of information. We have to focus on the receiver as well. In the next section, we will discuss about the national identity of Japanese.

6. National Identity and Nationalistic TV Program 
  Secondly, we argues about the nationalistic TV program with the concept of national identity. National identity is the feelings and attitudes toward the country people belong (Nakamura 2016). Iwabuchi argues that the strong relationship between national identity and nationalistic TV programs (Iwabuchi 2007). After 2000, our national identity has increased and given effect for TV programs? To answer the question, we investigate the transition of national identity of Japanese.

  The rate of the person who thinks that the Japanese is superior to foreigners had increased from 1998 to 2013. On the other hand, the late of the person who thinks the Japanese should learn from foreigners had decreased through same period of time. Two tables show that the Japanese become proud of themselves.
  However, we can see the lower percentage of Japanese who have proud for themselves than other countries in World Values Survey. In the question “Do you feel a confidence to be a citizen in your country?”, 65.3% Japanese answered “Yes”. But it is pretty lower than U.S. (91.4%), China (89.6%), and other 54 countries which answered this survey.
  From the result of the research by NHK institute and world value survey, we argue that Japanese are not proud of their country compared with other developed countries, but they think they are superior to other foreigners. It is a kind of contradiction. Japanese have pride that they are Japanese, but they don’t have evidence for it. Therefore, nationalistic TV program gives them good points of Japan. They works as the evidence of the pride of Japanese. Ito argues that watching TV programs which include the great Japanese engineer is important process for Japanese TV watchers to recognize that they are Japanese (Ito 2002). Nationalistic TV program play the role for Japanese to reconfirm they are Japanese giving the specific contents of their national identity. (To be continued)

Original article written by Kazutaka Oku
Translated by Naoko Imori, Kanako Koga, Kazutaka Oku, Chiaki Sato and Shin Tanaka