Over the past few months Japan and the threefold catastrophes of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear maximum credible accident have taken a prominent position in the media reports of Germany and other countries throughout the world. The German media quickly focused on the collapsed reactors in the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. While Japan was busy searching for survivors and as the extent of the devastating damages caused by the tsunami came to light, in Germany we witnessed a run on the shops to buy up iodine tablets and contamination meters. The German media was accused of inciting panic; media reports turned Germany's wide-reaching sensitivity on the topic nuclear power into hysteria. Japanese media on the other hand was accused of playing down government statements or press releases by TEPCO and of a lack of critical journalism. Does the media play a different role in Japan and Germany or are these assessments more about intercultural misunderstandings?
This symposium will first of all seek to compare the role of the media in Germany and Japan and their modus operandi. It will then examine various new and old media and their use in crisis communication in Japan. The symposium will close with a discussion on the differences in reporting the threefold catastrophe in the German and Japanese media.
Conference languages will be German and Japanese with simultaneous translation.