The Logic of Political Media Scandals in Japan and the Case Study of Ozawa Ichirō

First of all we wish to reveal certain universally-structuralist qualities, same as culturally-relative features of scandals and their mediation in a non-Western society. Secondly, we will illuminate how the mass media take active part in processing political issues in Japan, where as anywhere else in the media-saturated modern industrial world politicians significantly depend on the media (and vice versa); where political live shows and news programs – including scandals – became an important force, at times driving public sentiment while eventually generating support for opposition; and where wealth and its surplus is in evitably tied to a higher potential to grasp and secure power. We will then proceed to the main part of the paper, where we focus more closely on Japanese political scandals whereby preparing theoretical ground for a discourse analysis in the scandal case study of Ozawa Ichirō – one of the most powerful political heavyweights, and simultaneously one of the epitomes of political corruption in Japan.1 In our endeavor we were motivated by the fact that there exists plethora of literature on scandals in the west, but a detailed media discourse analysis of Japanese scandals is still lacking in academia worldwide.


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