Section 2. Present State of Media Cooperation and Public Information Activities



1.  Cooperation with Media


The Foreign Ministry provides the press assigned to the ministry and other Japanese news media with information on Japanese foreign policies and the international situation by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and other high officials of the Ministry through press conferences, and other means. For foreign correspondents stationed in Tokyo and other foreign news media, the Ministry holds regular weekly press conference by the Director-General for Public Information and Cultural Affairs (Gaimu-Hodokan) and ad hoc briefings, (both in English) to accurately and promptly convey Japan's positions in international affairs. It also arranges press conferences or interviews with the Japanese government leaders. When the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister visit foreign countries, the Foreign Ministry arranges briefing sessions and press conferences for Japanese press accompanying them and media people of the host countries as well as foreign correspondents stationed there.

The Ministry also immediately releases and distributes official announcements such as "Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs," "Statement by the Director-General for Public Information and Cultural Affairs," "Announcement by the Director-General for Public Information and Cultural Affairs" and "Press Release," (including English versions).

The second pillar of our cooperation to the news media is to provide convenience for news-gathering activities. This includes efforts to provide both Japanese and foreign news media with facilities and information when Japanese dignitaries such as the Imperial Family members, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister visit foreign countries or when foreign dignitaries such as state guests and government guests visit Japan.

Moreover, the Foreign Press Center, Japan, a nonprofit foundation under jurisdiction of the Foreign Ministry, provides information materials, arranges tours throughout Japan and makes other news-covering arrangements for foreign media people.



2.  Domestic Public Relations


The Foreign Ministry is undertaking a broad range of public information and educational activities at home to promote understanding of international affairs and the Government's foreign policies, and is actively supporting international exchange activities by local governments and private-sector organizations.


(1)  Public Information through Audiovisual and Other Means

The Foreign Ministry is assisting in the production of a television program, "Chikyu Talk & Talk," and a radio program, "Chikyu wa Maaruiyo."

It is also sending Ministry officials and outside experts as speakers to lecture meetings on international and diplomatic affairs sponsored by various organizations.

The Ministry publishes periodicals such as "Sekai no Ugoki," "Warera no Sekai" and "Gekkan Kokusai Seikei Joho," and pamphlets and documents on international affairs and the Government's foreign policies as necessary.


(2)  Support for "Internationalization of Local Communities"

The Foreign Ministry founded the "Counselling Center for Internationalization" in February 1986 in order to assist the movement toward "internationalization of local communities," which is recently gaining momentum across the country. The center answers inquiries on internationalization and international exchanges from all parts of Japan, and actively supports sister-city affiliations and other international exchange activities of local governments and private-sector organizations.

In addition to existing programs which render assistance to international exchange activities of local governments and private-sector organizations, such as "One-Day Foreign Ministry" (held in Hyogo Prefecture in January 1987) and "Mini Foreign Ministry" (held in Shimane and Tottori prefectures in July 1987), the Ministry initiated the "Counselling Caravan for Internationalization" in order to serve local government officials in charge of international exchanges and had sent it to 11 cities across the country since March 1986. The Ministry is also seeking to promote a broad-based "people's diplomacy" and the "internationalization" of Japan through sponsorship of such events as "The Forum," a discussion session on international issues for young people, and "Let's Talk about Diplomacy" month in July.



3.  Overseas Public Information Activities


The Foreign Ministry actively undertook diversified public information activities abroad as described below to promote foreign countries' understanding of political, economic and social conditions in Japan as well as of its foreign policy stance. In step with the growing foreign interest in Japan due to the advancement of its international status, public information activities are becoming more complicated and sophisticated, going beyond the general introduction to Japanese affairs to cover activities designed to enhance the level of understanding of Japan's positions on economic friction and other individual issues.


(1)  Public Information Survey, Opinion Polls

In order to understand public opinion trends overseas, the Ministry surveyed the structure and facilities for public information activities in other countries and also conducted public opinion polls regarding Japan in the United States in January and in ASEAN countries, except Brunei, from February through March 1987.


(2)  Public Information Materials

The Ministry prepared and disseminated over 1 million copies of policy information materials (Economic Policy Series and others) on economic friction and other specific problems as well as general information materials on the Japanese situation in general.


(3)  Audiovisual Projects

The Ministry prepared a variety of public information films, video programs, photo panels, slides and other materials and sent them out for use at diplomatic establishments abroad.


(4)  Exchange of Persons

The Ministry invited opinion leaders, media people and television teams of other countries to Japan, and sent leading figures in Japan's various circles overseas for lecture meetings, symposiums and other events.


(5)  Special Projects

The Ministry carried out concentrated public information campaigns when the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister visited foreign countries and also on such special occasions as the Tokyo Summit. It also mounted an active public information campaign through diversified means on economic and trade frictions with the United States and European countries. As for the United States, strenuous efforts were made to successfully carry out the "Action Program for the Promotion of Japan-U.S. Mutual Understanding" announced in February 1986. One aspect of this Program called for 1,000 lectures and speeches with 965 meetings actually held.


(6)  "Japan Week"

The Ministry, in cooperation with the private sector and local governments, sponsored "Japan Week" programs, a large-scale presentation of public information activities and cultural events to introduce Japan from various aspects (held at 10 locations in the United States and Europe in fiscal 1986).


(7)  Public Information on Economic Cooperation

The Ministry undertook activities to promote the understanding in developing countries of Japanese economic and technical cooperation, including arrangements of tours of economic cooperation project sites for local news media people and preparation of papers on bilateral relations with emphasis on economic cooperation.


(8)  Public Information in Education

The Ministry sponsored various events and projects to introduce Japan to foreign elementary and high school students as well as social studies teachers.


(9)  Correction of Foreign Textbooks on Japan

The Ministry, through the International Society for Educational Information, tried to investigate and correct mistakes and misunderstandings of Japan found in foreign textbooks, encyclopedias, atlases and other materials.


(10)  Information and Culture Centers

The Ministry operated 28 information and culture centers in foreign countries for film shows, lecture meetings and other activities.



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