The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus, Volume 18 | Issue 18 | Number 16 | Article ID 5486 | Sep 15, 2020
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus
NHK and “Black Lives Matter”: Structural Racism in Japan
On June 7, 2020, NHK aired a TV program to explain racial divisions in the United States, following protests after the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. However, a computer graphic aired during the program and posted on NHK’s official Twitter account drew widespread criticism for distorting the image of black people and the reasons for their anger. NHK quickly retracted the graphic but a group of American Studies’ scholars in Japan and the US found flaws in the entire program and sent a letter to NHK. This article explains the problems of the program, and considers why NHK aired it, while looking at the wider issue of racism in Japanese society.