Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a daily column that runs on Page 1 of The Asahi Shimbun.
September 17, 2021 at 12:45 JST
Jun Azumi, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan Diet Affairs Committee chairman, meets reporters in the Diet building on Sept. 15. (The Asahi Shimbun)
The Japanese translation of media exposure is "roshutsu."
A Japanese dictionary at hand defines this word as "to lay bare, expose," implying that what is being disclosed could be of an indecorous nature.
But this has apparently not stopped the word from gaining broad circulation as showbiz jargon.
Talent agencies invariably want their stars to get as much media exposure as possible and worry if that doesn't happen.
However, the agencies would never blame TV stations when things don't go their way. They would simply work harder to promote their stars by striving to boost their mass appeal.
But Jun Azumi, the chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, is bitter about the fact that members of the rival Liberal Democratic Party are getting ample media exposure, and is blaming TV broadcasters for it.
Azumi, making the criticism that information and news programs are "focused solely on the LDP," reportedly told a news conference that he intends to "examine specific TV programs."
He is also considering, he added, bringing the matter to the attention of the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization (BPO).
The aforementioned organization handles complaints from viewers. But an appeal from a Diet member, who also happens to be a senior executive of a political party, must come across as something of a threat.
Even though l do feel that the broadcasting media are overplaying the LDP presidential election, this also serves as a mirror that reflects the sorry state in which opposition parties have allowed themselves to remain.
Nothing can be gained by ranting in front of a mirror.
Ever since Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced his exit, I have become firmly convinced of how desperately the opposition parties "needed" Suga to stay, if they were to have a fighting chance in the upcoming Lower House election.
The days are past when Suga's missteps and failures to communicate helped the opposition camp.
In any sport, it is simply not possible to keep winning by just waiting for opponents' misplays.
What the CDP needs to do now is not to scream in frustration in front of a TV set, but to refine its policies and go out among the people to listen to what they have to say.
--The Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 17
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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.
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