Controversy where there is none

Can anyone imagine someone in the US claiming that there’s some secret conspiracy behind a government organization putting up the national flag? That’s exactly what happened earlier this month in Japan. Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa decided to display the Japanese flag in the ministry’s press briefing room.

What on earth could possibly be wrong with putting up a flag in a government building? Well, according to one reporter, “Mr. Nakagawa is a hawk. There is a political intention to what he is trying to do.” Good grief. I don’t know anything about Minister Nakagawa, but displaying the national flag is not something that should cause a stir. At the end of the article, it even notes, “At present, about half of the government ministries display the [Japanese flag] in the briefing rooms at their press clubs.” Okay, so what was the point of the article, then?

If you read the article, you will also see that this newspaper refers to him as “Rightwing Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa.” Now there’s another shining example of balanced reporting. What purpose could possibly be served by putting an ideological descriptor before the guy’s name? It looks to me like media everywhere likes to create controversy where there is none.

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4 Responses to “Controversy where there is none”

  1. CT says:

    God I can’t wait to get back to the States. Junk like this is pure insanity.

  2. casey says:

    What? You’re outside the US, too? Where at?

  3. Ash888 says:

    As I’m sure you know, the Japanese are generally sensitive about their national flag, national anthem, etc. because of their nationalistic past and what it led to. It seems like you find more US flags hanging here in Japan than you do Japanese flags. When I went back to the States for a visit I had a little reverse culture shock seeing Old Glory everywhere I looked. I never noticed how prevalent our flag is in the US until my wife brought it up. But I do think it’s silly to make such a big deal about Hinomaru being put up in the ministry‚Äôs press briefing room.

  4. casey says:

    The “Hinomaru” was in use in Japan well before nationalism and WWII. It’s silly to be sensitive about it. What they should be ashamed about is denying the attrocities that were committed in Southeast Asia and engaging in an organized campaign to convince the population that Japan was the victim in WWII (including the claim that the atomic bombs were dropped purely out of scientific curiosity). Anyway, the whole article I linked to is just ridiculous. Why on earth should it cause a stir? Only because the press wants it to.