Nationalism, democracy, and the press in Japan : How Asahi and Yomiuri frame news to compete with each other

Takekawa, Shunichi
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
This dissertation analyzes the news framing of Japan's two largest major newspapers, Asahi and Yomiuri, and argues that the foundation of their news framing consists of their competing views on the state and nation, by doing a systematic content analysis of their editorials and news articles. Its analytical framework was developed from news framing analysis methods developed by American scholars and the two major Japanese newspapers' tendencies of news editing and reporting. This analytical framework has three layers---(1) a qualitative analysis of Asahi's and Yomiuri's long-term editorial views; (2) a qualitative analysis of their editorials on a certain issue; and (3) a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the news coverage of that certain issue. The first layer analyzes the two newspapers' New Year's Day editorials from 1953 to 2005, and demonstrates how the two newspapers have engaged in a nationalist competition over views on and ideals for the Japanese state and nation: Left-leaning, liberal Asahi has been an anti-state, pacifist-nationalist upholding the postwar constitution; and right-leaning, conservative Yomiuri has been a pro-state, internationalist-nationalist seeking out an active role for Japan in the post-Cold War world led by the United States. Accordingly, unlike Yomiuri, Asahi prefers the United Nations to the United States. For the second and third layers of the analysis, the dissertation examines editorials and articles on the 2001 history textbook controversy, as well as those concerning the murders of the two Japanese diplomats in Iraq in 2003. Asahi primarily framed the textbook controversy as a Japanese domestic issue, considering the textbook in question to be a symbol of rising state-centered nationalism, while Yomiuri emphasized the controversy as a diplomatic issue between Japan and its neighboring states, affirming some perspectives given in the textbook. Asahi used the murders of the diplomats to prevent the government from deploying the Self-Defense Forces in the U.S.-led reconstruction of Iraq while Yomiuri symbolized the murders as proof of Japan's commitment to its active role in an international military cooperation. This dissertation ultimately finds that Asahi and Yomiuri play a role in the reproduction of national identity for the Japanese people in postwar democracy.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 233-243).
Also available by subscription via World Wide Web
243 leaves, bound 29 cm
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Political Science; no. 5084
Table of Contents
All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder
Local Contexts
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.