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Issues & Insights Vol. 23, SR8 – The United States & Japan: Allied Against Disinformation

  • Morihiro Ogasahara

    Professor in the Faculty of Sociology of Toyo University in Tokyo

  • Christopher Paul

    Senior Social Scientist at the RAND Corporation

Written By

  • Akira Igata Project Lecturer, RCAST, The University of Tokyo
  • Rob York Director for Regional Affairs

MEDIA QUERIES

The United States & Japan: Allied Against Disinformation

Introduction

In our 21st century information age security does not start with weapons or with the armed forces who wield them. A range of non-traditional security issues has arisen to test even the oldest and closest of alliances—including that of the United States and Japan. Disinformation is among these issues, and this paper series, carried out with the generous support of the US Embassy Tokyo, highlights the specific challenges that disinformation presents. The good news is that Japan, at least so far, is not demonstrating exceptionally high difficulties with disinformation so far. However, as the paper by Prof. Morihiro Ogasahara demonstrates, there are specific demographics and specific types of news consumers in the country who are vulnerable, and Dr. Christopher Paul’s findings indicate that Japan could very well find itself under a more sustained attack by adversaries wishing to weaken its relationship with the US in the future. We at Pacific Forum hope that these papers serve as a wakeup call for policymakers, and lead to proactive solutions not only for this alliance, but which may be modeled for US relationships throughout the region.

我々が生きる21世紀の情報化時代における安全保障は、兵器やそれを用いる軍から始まるものではない。さまざまな非伝統的な安全保障問題が、日本と米国を含む最も古く緊密な同盟関係さえも脅かすようになっている。偽情報はこうした問題のひとつであり、米国大使館からの支援を受けて実施された本論文集は、偽情報がもたらす具体的な課題に焦点を当てている。朗報としては、少なくともこれまでのところ、日本が偽情報に対して特別に高い困難性を示していないことである。しかし、小笠原盛浩教授の論文が示すように、日本には特定の脆弱な層や、特定タイプのニュースを消費する層が存在する。また、クリストファー・ポール博士の調査結果は、日本が将来、米国との関係を弱体化させようと試みる敵対勢力から、より継続的な攻撃を受ける可能性があることを示唆している。私たちパシフィック・フォーラムは、これらの論文が政策立案者への警鐘となると共に、日米同盟に限らず、この地域全体における米国と他国の関係性のモデルとなるような、積極的な解決策につながることを願っている。

Rob York

Director for Regional Affairs

Pacific Forum

This Issues and Insights special report was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

Download the full volume here.

You may also view the Japanese translation of this volume here.


Table of Contents

1.The Relationship between News Repertoire and Exposure to, Discernment of, and Dissemination of Disinformation: An Analysis in the 2022 Japanese Upper House Election | Morihiro Ogasahara
2.Options for Countering Disinformation in Japan | Christopher Paul


About the Authors

Morihiro Ogasahara is a professor in the Faculty of Sociology of Toyo University in Tokyo.

Christopher Paul is a senior social scientist at the RAND Corporation where he conducts policy research analysis related to the information environment.