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Japan has a highly respected public broadcaster, NHK (often called “the Japanese BBC”). The current system of NHK plus five commercial networks (Nippon Television, TBS, Fuji Television, TV Asahi, TV Tokyo), each one affiliated to one of the national quality newspapers, had stabilized by 1969.
Early August is the key period of war commemoration in Japan. The anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks and the war end anniversary (6, 9 and 15 August respectively) generate much media attention known as “August commemorations”. I have conducted four major surveys of Japanese war-related television:
August 2005: see Japan’s Contested War Memories Chapter 5.
August 2010: ‘The centenary of the annexation of Korea in the Japanese media’, Japan Space Vol. 9 (2011), pp. 275-307.
August 2015: ‘NHK, war-related television, and the politics of fairness.’ In Jeff Kingston (ed)Press Freedom in Contemporary Japan. London: Routledge, 2017, pp. 172-185.
August 2020: awaiting write-up and publication.
Details of what Japanese people watch can be found at Video Research Ltd, an online viewing figures service. Online TV listings and guides can be found at Za Terebijon and Internet TV Guide (which has listings the same as the daily newspapers).
Japan has two excellent public-access television archives, The Broadcast Library in Yokohama and NHK Archives in Saitama. However, these are mainly for documentaries and drama/entertainment specials and are nowhere near comprehensive.
Main collectors of opinion poll data are the media organizations. Particularly important is NHK, which has a research unit.
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