Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fact Checking Japan Today

Japan Today is one of the major online media outlets for news in English about Japan.  Unlike The Japan Times (which publishes a print edition), the former is free ( TJT limits online users to just a few free reads per month).

(Readers may recall a post from a couple of years back regarding removal of comments critical of Japan Today's parent company, INTERAC, a major player in the private ALT industry.)

Japan Today produces little journalism of its own; rather, for stories not already available in English, it provides translations from the Japanese. So far, so good.

Except that Japan Today's translations are sometimes inaccurate or incomplete.

Case in point:

The story contains one not insignificant error: the 2 men did not continue their argument after exiting the train.  Instead, they calmed down.  The older man was waiting in line for his next train when the younger man pushed him from behind onto the tracks.

And there is an omission of important information: a train was approaching the station at the time and had to be stopped by an alert station employee, who pressed the "Emergency Stop" button.

Yahoo Japan's reporting is here:

Japan Today owes it to readers unable to make sense of Japanese to provide better translations.

An update (Oct. 31)   Japan Today is reporting that police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of attempted extortion.  The alleged incident took place in August, when one Hashimoto, the suspect, is said to have threatened his then-girlfriend into signing an IOU for over 3 million yen.  JT omits important details: the accuser is the ex-girlfriend, and the incident took place weeks ago.

My comment below:

  • Hashimoto was arrested this week for allegedly threatening and attempting to extort over 3 million yen, in August, from his now ex-girlfriend. The timing is an important detail missing from the article (Some readers seem to think the police acted with dispatch).

The original article:

A 25-year-old man who works as a host at a club in Tokyo’s Kabukicho district has been arrested for trying to extort 3 million yen from his girlfriend by threatening her.
According to police, Hiroyuki Hashimoto forced his girlfriend to sign an IOU stating that she owed him 3 million yen, TV Asahi reported. Police said he threatened to kill her and her family if she didn’t sign it.
After the woman fled, Hashimoto emailed her mother and demanded to know where her daughter was and that she owed him money. However, the woman’s mother contacted the police who arrested Hashimoto.
Police said Wednesday that Hashimoto is also suspected of beating up another woman in her 20s in July. In that case, the woman suffered broken bones, police said.
Japan Today

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