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A comparison of U.S.-Japanese press coverage of the semiconductor trade agreement of 1991

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Title:
A comparison of U.S.-Japanese press coverage of the semiconductor trade agreement of 1991
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Press coverage of the semiconductor trade agreement of 1991
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Kashiwagi, Akiko
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Denver, CO
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University of Colorado Denver
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v, 85 leaves : ; 29 cm

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Semiconductors in the press ( lcsh )
Commerce -- United States -- Japan ( lcsh )
Commerce -- Japan -- United States ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 83-85).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Political Science
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Department of Political Science
Statement of Responsibility:
by Akiko Kashiwagi.

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ocm34579799
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Full Text
A COMPARISON OF U.S.-JAPANESE PRESS COVERAGE OF
THE SEMICONDUCTOR TRADE AGREEMENT OF 1991
Akiko Kashiwagi
B.A., Sophia University, 1989
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements
for the degree of
Master of Arts
Political Science
1995
by


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Akiko Kashiwagi
has been approved for the
Graduate School
by
3/7 / Date


Kashiwagi, Akiko (M.A., Political Science)
A Comparison of U.S.-Japan Press Coverage of the Semiconductor Trade
Agreement of 1991
Thesis directed by Professor Jana Everett
\
ABSTRACT
The Semiconductor Trade Agreement of 1991 (STA) is considered to be
one of the most contentious and politically charged trade agreements between the
U.S. and Japan to date. This study compares the press reactions to the renewal of
the STA in the United States and Japan to examine whether or not different
government interpretations were reflected in the coverage and what factors shaped
any differences in the press coverage. The data were collected from a nearly
matched sample of American and Japanese newspapers during the two-month
period prior to the conclusion of the negotiations on June 5,1991.
The study suggests that the STA was presented in conflictual terms by the
Japanese press and as relatively routine business news by the U.S. press. The
Japanese press was so engaged that quite a few analysis and opinion articles were
written, most of which were critical of the STA. In contrast, the U.S. press was
detached, and few partisan arguments were made. It remained largely neutral and
included no negative accounts of Japan. These differences are attributed to both
the actual stakes involved in this case and the respective international positions of
the two nations. Moreover, the political environment surrounding the issue of trade
with Japan might have affected the level of engagement of the U.S. press.
hi


In regard to substantive arguments in the articles, Japanese press coverage
was relatively uniform and shared a similar frame of reference. These Japanese
accounts tended to echo the Japanese government's interpretation of the STA. In
contrast, U.S. press coverage was free from policy assumptions and stereotyped
views of Japan and varied in terms of its framing. These differences are ascribed
to systematic differences, including institutional practices and cultural factors. The
U.S. press is more likely to offer varied and independent views than the Japanese
press, being less constrained by culture and institutional arrangements.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
IV


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION ................................. 1
Statement of Purpose.................... 2
Significance of the Study................3
Methodology..............................4
Review of Literature.................... 5
2. THE SEMICONDUCTOR TRADE BETWEEN THE U.S.
AND JAPAN.....................................17
3. FINDINGS..................................... 28
Introduction........................... 28
General Comparison..................... 28
Point-by-Point Comparison.............. 41
Conclusion............................. 56
4. DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS........................59
Introduction............................59
How the News Was Treated Differentially.60
Factors Contributing to Differences.... 62
Conclusion..............................76
LIST OF REFERENCE .......................................83
v


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Despite a widely shared view that the media plays an influential role in
shaping the public's images of a foreign country, there has been a lack of empirical
data on this issue. How is the press coverage of a particular issue in one nation
different from the press coverage in another nation? How are the differences to be
explained? These specific questions regarding press coverage have largely been left
unanswered. A lack of data is particularly true concerning comparative analysis of
the U.S. and Japanese press. There has been little systematic analysis, for example,
of how the press or the media in general has covered the issue of trade friction
(Krauss 1993a, 29).
The most recent round of trade friction between the United States and Japan
has involved the entire range of high-technology sectors. Among other disputes,
confrontation over the semiconductor trade, which has existed since the early
1980s, has been the most contentious. The bilateral trade agreement concluded in
1986 did not bring the conflict to an end. On the contrary, the two nations never
agreed on their obligations under that accord, and the tension remained high
throughout the agreement's five-year duration. Despite all the controversy and the
initial opposition to its renewal by the Japanese semiconductor industry, the
Semiconductor Trade Agreement (STA) was renewed in June 1991.
1


Statement of Purpose
The purpose of the study is to compare press reaction in the United States
and Japan concerning the renewal of the Semiconductor Trade Agreement (ST A) in
1991. The specific inspiration which triggered this study was a comment by the
former deputy U.S. trade representative Glen S. Fukushima (1992) in his book The
Politics of U.S.-Japan Economic Friction. Having observed newspaper accounts
in both the United States and Japan during and after the original semiconductor
trade negotiations held between 1985 and 1987, Fukushima noted that the focus of
U.S. press coverage of the semiconductor trade negotiations was substantially
different from the focus of Japanese coverage. He claimed that the U.S. press
portrayed the U.S. as addressing Japan's unfair trade policies, whereas the
Japanese press, viewing Japan as doing nothing wrong, focused on the lack of
competitiveness of U.S. firms. According to Fukushima (1992,124):
About 70 to 80 percent of the U.S. media coverage
described the issue [conflict over semiconductors trade] as a matter
of Japan's "unfair trade practices" which had long existed and not
been resolved. They argued that Japan's government policy that
protects specific industries needed to be addressed in order to
eliminate dumping and to expand the market access.
The Japanese media, on the other hand, almost always
described the issue simply as a matter of competitiveness. Contrary
to the U.S. claim, the Japanese media argued that Japan had never
taken a measure that violates the international trade laws and that the
reason for foreign chip makers' inability to penetrate the Japanese
market was simply because of Japanese manufactures'
competitiveness with the quality, price and services.
Taking Fukushima's characterization of the differing press perspectives on
the original STA of 1986 as a point of departure, my study seeks to examine what
different views were presented in the American and Japanese press in reaction to the
2


renewal of the STA in 1991. Using a content analysis of press coverage in the
United States and Japan, I will examine similarities and differences in how each
press presented the case of the 1991 STA and will seek to identify the factors
shaping those characteristics of press reaction. This study will conclude with a
discussion of the conditions for press autonomy and the relationship between the
press and the government in each country.
Significance of the Study
Among experts on the U.S.-Japan relationship, there has been a growing
interest in the media's role in shaping negative images of each country. However,
the differences in the nature of the press coverage between the United States and
Japan rarely have been analyzed systematically through empirical study. According
to Ellis Krauss (1993a, 29), the subject is "the least studied aspect of United States-
Japan friction." Therefore, there is a great need for an in-depth investigation of
press coverage as a possible cause of friction. Furthermore, it has been pointed out
that American policy makers are less interested in how Japanese papers cover the
U.S. news than Japanese policy makers are in how American papers cover news in
Japan (Fukushima 1992). Hence, it is my hope that this project will raise interest in
press coverage among Americans as well as Japanese by presenting how differently
trade news is covered between Japanese newspapers and American newspapers.
3


Methodology
Collection of Data
For the purpose of this project, press coverage was studied using a nearly
matched sample of American and Japanese newspapers. For quality, influential and
well-read newspapers, The New York Times and the Washington Post in the U.S.
and The Yomiuri Shimbun ("Yomiuri"! and The Asahi Shimbun ("Asahi") in Japan
were selected. I also used the Christian Science Monitor and The Japan Times as
examples of elite and internationally minded newspapers. For financial papers, I
used the Wall Street Journal and The Nihon Keizai Shimbun ("Nikkei!. These
papers are widely read by the corporate community and carry more business-related
articles than any other newspapers.
Scope of the Study
The period covered is May and June, 1991. This period was selected
because by mid-May, the STA negotiations were reaching the final stage and the
outline of the renewed STA was determined. The agreement was reached on June
4,1991. Most of the press coverage on the STA was generated between late May
and early June. The size of the sample is unusually small for this type of study, 17
articles for the U.S. and 64 for Japanese newspapers. Though a longer period
would be ideal, I believe a two-month period is sufficient for the purpose of this
project, which focuses intensively on each press' point of view about the STA
renewal.
The collected data from the U.S. and Japanese newspapers were found not
to be balanced in terms of the volume and type of the press coverage. As for the
4


U.S. items, most of them were news articles and no editorials were found. In
contrast, nearly a quarter of the Japanese items were editorials, feature stories and
opinion columns. Those Japanese articles that only reported the negotiation
schedules were excluded from the sample.
Content Analysis
Press coverage was examined using content analysis. Ore R. Holsti (1969,
14) defines content analysis as "any technique for making references by objectively
and systematically identifying specified characteristics of messages." Content
analysis of press coverage usually utilizes a large amount of data, which is sorted
out into categories that typically include the attributes and key words. While the
standard quantitative content analysis as defined above would have its own merits,
interpretive content analysis will be employed because of the exploratory nature of
this study. Specifically, instead of merely counting the number of key words in the
data, I coded the articles according to various views, interpretations and
characterizations of the STA that are explicitly or implicitly apparent in the
coverage. This methodology enabled me to analyze the small number of the
available articles deeply enough to elucidate the similarities and differences in press'
views presented in the coverage.
Review of Literature
Some recent studies on press coverage have examined whether or not
quantitative and qualitative differences exist in the coverage of political events
among different nations (Amo and Dissanayake 1984; Stevenson and Shaw 1984;
5


van Dijk 1988). Questions posed have included: How is press coverage in the First
World different from press coverage in Third World countries? How is press
coverage in the West different from press coverage in non-Westem nations? For
these questions, two conflicting hypotheses (one concerning similarities and one
concerning differences) have been posited.
Similarities
One view argues that there is a trend toward growing uniformity. Andrew
Amo (1984a, 11), a research associate with the East-West Communication
Institute, states, "Being in contact with one another more and more on personal and
professional bases, media practitioners come to have similar standards of work (a
shared sense of professionalism), ideals, and prejudices." As journalists
increasingly share foreign-produced material, national boundaries are disappearing.
Comparative studies conducted by van Dijk (1988), Soderlund (1990), and Servaes
(1991) all found more similarities than differences among press coverage of various
countries.
Teun A. van Dijk (1988), professor at the University of Amsterdam, who
has written extensively on news analysis, systematically compared press coverage
of the 1982 assassination of Lebanon's President-elect Bechir Gemayel. Van Dijk
found that the thematic as well as structural difference in stories were rather
negligible and that the news format (what/ how news categories appear in the
coverage) used in stories was similar among the different newspapers in both the
First and the Third Worlds.
6


The results of the global comparison by van Dijk suggest that there was "an
implicit system of rules and values in the news accounts" which were reflected in a
"standardized description of the events" (130). However, he allows that the
similarities among the newspapers can alternatively be interpreted as the evidence of
the heavy reliance of Third World journalists on the First World media. In any
event, his findings led to his claim that there were globally shared journalistic
norms not only among the Western countries but also among the rest of the world.
Moreover, he asserts that the Third World press is still dominated by Western
information and the Western international news organizations, and this monopoly
of information adds to the similarity of the coverage (34).
Jan Servaes (1991), professor of International Communication at Catholic
University of Nijmegen, compared European press coverage of the American
invasion of Grenada in 1983. His assumption was that "non-domestic" news
reporting is "influenced by the political, economic, and cultural context as well as
by the actual situation being reported" (30).
Servaes' findings, however, did not support this hypothesis. Despite the
differences in each country's political, cultural and economic ties with Grenada, the
content of the European newspaper coverage was relatively uniform, and the events
were similarly represented as an East-West clash and as a Communist threat.
Accordingly, Servaes concluded that the norms shared by the six European
countries transcended the different political, economic, and cultural contexts in each
country.
Walter C. Soderlund (1990), professor of Political Science at the University
of Windsor, Ontario, also sought to explain the similarities and differences in press
7


coverage of different countries in light of the social, economic and political ties to
the foreign country being covered. His study compared the press coverage of the
1982 and 1984 Salvadoran elections using leading newspapers in the United States
and Canada. Soderlund examined a hypothesis that the Western press is so
sensitive to government pressure that in covering a crisis, press reporting tends to
mirror government policy.
The results in testing this hypothesis were mixed; while the total volume of
the articles was twice as much in the American press as in Canada, the media
portrayal of the elections was essentially the same in the two countries. The
proportion in which articles both favorable and unfavorable to an American
interpretation of the Salvadoran elections appeared in the Canadian and the
American press was roughly equal (71). Soderlund's study thus suggests that
Canadian reporters tended to regard the conflict in a similar perspective as
Americans did and that such shared perspectives were reflected in the coverage. In
short, between the United States and Canada, coverage was more similar than
different, despite the different political relations to the country being covered.
Differences
While the above studies support the view that there is apparently a global
trend toward uniformity in press coverage due to shared professional norms and
news information, other studies have focused on differences in press accounts
among different nations. Amo (1984a, 1) states that press coverage of international
news differs in different countries since the press "do not merely transmit, but also
frame and interpret messages." Reflecting this point of view, it has been argued
8


that in framing messages, press coverage is constrained both by institutionalized
practices and by the political, economic, social, and cultural systems inherent in
each country (Soesilo and Wasbum 1994,368). In other words, press coverage
may differ among different countries as it does tend to reflect inherent political,
economic, social and cultural systems in each country.
Amo has explained how universal journalistic norms tend to be negated by
systematic constraints inherent in media organizations as well as in each culture.
According to Amo:
...in certain political contexts, the professionalism of the media
practitioners is minimized in its effect on final products because political
or social values are reasserted in the decision-making process and
ultimately have the greater weight. Differences among forms of
government then may show up as differences in the behavior of media
organizations in conflict situations (12).
Another factor that works toward differentiation, Amo (12) states, is the
cultural context in which the press operates. In the process of framing and
interpreting messages for the people, media organizations necessarily observe social
and cultural conventions, which in turn determine how each media organization
covers the news. Specific cultural conventions include "basic and deeply rooted
patterns that govern social interactions, ways of conceptualizing and symbolizing
social entities and situations, and the hierarchies of roles and precepts that constitute
prevailing systems of morality or ethics."
Similarly, Doris A. Graber (1993), professor of Political Science at the
University of Illinois at Chicago, and Hamid Mowlana (1984), professor of
International Relations and Director of International Communication Studies at
9


American University, argue that press coverage reflects the actual perspectives of
the journalists and that the framing of foreign news in the U.S. tends to be pro-
American. They attribute such tendency to both cultural and institutional factors.
American journalists, Graber (383) states, have stereotyped views of the world and
are predisposed to cover a news event with such a chauvinistic mindset by
identifying countries that they are covering as either foe or friend. She (396) adds
that a pro-American bias is enforced by a reliance on American (official) sources
and their foreign policy assumptions. Mowlana echoes her view:
Cultural values and ideological frames of reference reduce the
media's ability to serve as independent sources of information,
particularly in times of international conflict (79).
The U.S. media tend to define the crisis or conflict in whatever
way best confirms their most firmly established perception of the events
that led to it (92).
The content analyses conducted by Soesilo and Wasbum (1994) presented
similar views of the U.S. press. Arie S. Soesilo, professor at the University of
Indonesia, and Philo C. Wasbum, professor of Sociology at Purdue University
(1994), examined whether there were differences between press coverage in the
First and Third Worlds. Using the Gulf Crisis in 1990-91 as a case, they compared
the accounts of the crisis in the Gulf using The New York Times and a leading
Indonesian newspaper, Kompas. Specifically, they looked into how different
"formal media system norms" affect press content. (The New York Times operates
10


under a "free press" system while Kompas is under a "developmental press"
system1 ) (368).
The findings indicated that there were substantial differences in how each
paper "framed" the crisis and its implications while there were also similarities.2
The study also found that in a crisis situation, the Western media, including The
New York Times, tended to reflect the U.S. government's position because of their
reliance on information from the government.3 Thus, Soesilo and Wasbum
1 According to Soesilo and Wasbum (1994), Dennis McQuail (1988) defines a "free press" system
as:
1. Publication should be free from any prior censorship;
2. Attack on any government, official or political party should not be punishable;
3. There should be no compulsion to publish anything;
4. No restriction should be placed on the colleciton, by legal means, of information for
publication;
5. Journalists should be able to claim a considerable degree of professional autonomy within
their organiation.
A "developmental press" system is defined as:
1. Media should accept and cany out positive development tasks;
2. Media should give priority in news and information to links with other developming
countries;
3. Journalists have responsibilities as well as freedoms in their information gathering and
dissemination tasks;
4. In the interests of development ends, the state has a right to intervene in, or restrict, media
operations, and devices of censorship, subsidy and direct control can be justified (Soesilo and
Wasbum 1994,370).
2 Specifically, whereas twice as many articles in The New York Times viewed the crisis from a
First World perspective than from a Third World perspective, in Kompas three times as many
articles viewed the crisis from a Third World perspective than from a First World perspective.
With regard to the implications of the Gulf Crisis as a threat to the world order, however,
more similar views were expressed than different ones between the two newspapers. Just as The
New York Times framed the crisis as a threat to the existing world order (23.9 %), Kompas did so
and even more frequently (29.2 %). Kompas framed the crisis as a threat to Third World political
economy much less frequently (19.5%) than it did as a threat to the exisiting world order. These
mixed results thus indicated both Kompas's having a Third World perspective and its extensive
dependence on an information system dominated by the West (Soesilo and Wasbum 1994,375).
3 This tendency was particularly strong in the case of the Gulf Crisis because "commercial and
political interests coincided" (Soesilo and Wasbum 1994,379). When the information is tightly
controlled by the government, the media's dependence on official sources increases. Since the
public tended to support the official policy in the Gulf, there was a commercial incentive for the
media to use official sources.


concluded that in crisis situations, a "free press" might be as constrained and as
supportive of the government as was "a developmental press" in the Third World.
The studies discussed above all analyzed press coverage of political events,
mostly military affairs. Contrary to press coverage of political events, however,
press coverage of economic events has rarely been the subject of systematic content
analysis. As in covering military affairs abroad, reporters' objectivity may also be
subject to bias in covering economic affairs between the United States and a foreign
country.
A recent study conducted by Michael Balter, although not reported in a
scholarly fashion, should be noted in this regard. The findings indicated that the
U.S. press framed an economic conflict also from an American perspective. Balter
(1993), an American free-lance journalist based in Paris, conducted a survey of
major newspaper articles both in the U.S. and France concerning the GATT farm-
subsidy feud and the agreement reached in November, 1991. Balter first noted the
low priority that the American press gave to the GATT talks saying that most stories
appeared in "the back pasture of the business pages." Balter (46), then identified
chauvinism and the lack of depth and context in reporting. He states that press
coverage seldom went beyond the accounts of a simplistic pictures of the feud
between free-traders and European protectionists.
As a reason for what he regarded as inappropriate news coverage, Balter
cited a disproportionate reliance of American journalists on U.S. sources, as
opposed to reliance on foreign correspondents. Lacking the chance to explore
European views closely, Balter argues, domestic reporters are confined to a narrow
12


framework, and tend to "fall victim to the 'we' syndrome in reporting a trade
conflict just as in reporting a skirmish or a war" (47). While criticizing "them,"
Balter (47) states, reporters seldom scrutinize the assumptions behind the U.S.
negotiating position. As for French press coverage, Balter found similarly
simplistic and unbalanced accounts. The French press described the United States
"as a sort of international bully for pressuring the EC to take reforms in the
agricultural policy even further and as hypocritical" (Balter 1993,49).
Summary
While there was evidence of shared journalistic norms in some cases, in
most cases there were differences, especially in how each press "framed" the news
and portrayed the actors. These differences were not only ascribed to the actual
situation of the conflict, but also to different perspectives prevalent in each country
as well as to different formal media systems in different countries. The literature
thus suggests that as far as the U.S. press is concerned, stereotyped views of
reporters tend to dominate the press accounts of a country considered as "foe."
Furthermore, it has been argued that depending on the conflict situation, the role the
U.S. press plays ranges from a neutral third party to an actor in news making
(Mowlana 1984,71; Amo 1984b, 232).
In light of these points made in the literature, it appears worthwhile to
compare press coverage in the American and Japanese press, since Japan is a non-
Third World nation, but non-Westem and also an ally (as opposed to a foe) of the
United States. In theory, therefore, both homogenizing factors due to shared
developed countries values and differentiating factors due to West-East differences
13


are supposed to affect U.S. and Japanese press coverage on a conflict with Japan.
Are there more differences than similarities or vice-versa?
Until 1993, there were few systematic and scholarly data on comparative
analysis of press coverage in the United States and Japan (Krauss 1993a, 29).
That year, the project "Communicating Across the Pacific," funded by the
Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs, was conducted by a group made up mainly of
American scholars, including Stanley Budner, consultant to the Center, and Ellis S.
Krauss, professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert
on Japan and Japan's media. Budner conducted the empirical study and Krauss
analyzed the factors contributing to the differences.
Budner (1993) compared and assessed the degree of objectivity and balance
in American and Japanese press coverage concerning three of the most contentious
issues involving the two nations in the late 1980s: The FSX debate (November
1988 September 1989), the purchase of Columbia Pictures and The Rockefeller
Center by Japanese corporations (October 1989 December 1989), and the
Structural Impediments Initiative (SB) negotiations (April 1989 August 1990).
Budner (23) found that there were more differences than similarities
between press coverage in the U.S. and Japan. Marked differences were found in
substantive arguments between U.S. and Japanese press coverage despite the fact
that "both American and Japanese journalists declare their adherence to the norms of
balance and objectivity" (24). The study shows that generally, American coverage
tended to be both more balanced and objective than Japanese coverage as well as
more detailed and elaborate. However, it was also indicated that balance and
objectivity tended to vary with the nature of the issue being covered (23).
14


In light of these findings, therefore, I believe that there is a need for further
study on press coverage in order to examine 1) how differently the same event is
covered by each press and 2) whether or not stereotyped or biased views are
expressed in other U.S.-Japan conflicts not covered by Budner. Accordingly, I
will examine the press reaction to the Semiconductor Trade Agreement (STA) in a
manner similar to Budner's by conducting item-by-item analysis of views
expressed in each article. By following up on Budner's project, this paper is also
intended to investigate whether or not there is a persistent pattern in press reaction
to a series of trade issues between the United States and Japan.
In the next chapter, I will explain the development of the semiconductor
industry and the trade conflict between the United States. Following the
background chapter, the findings from the content analysis are reported in Chapter
Three. Chapter Three is divided in two sections. The first section begins by
general comparison of the attributes and the subjects covered in the articles.
Following the general comparison, various views expressed in the coverage are
investigated and compared. Specifically, the second section is guided by such
questions as: How did each press characterize the 1991 STA? Did press coverage
reflect such opposing views, fairness vs. competitiveness? Were there any
differences in substantive arguments? Did each press reflect the position of the
government?
Based on the findings, Chapter Four will then discuss the findings based on
the following questions: What were the factors contributing to such similarities and
differences? How did shared norms and systematic differences affect press
accounts? How are the findings different from or similar to the previous studies of
15


trade conflict? What are the general perspectives of the press in the United States
and Japan regarding the ST A? The chapter presents my conclusions.
16


CHAPTER TWO
THE SEMICONDUCTOR TRADE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND JAPAN
This chapter presents an overview of the development of the semiconductor
industry both in the United States and Japan. First, the early history is explained in
light of how each government played a role in the development of the industry.
Second, the increasing competition between the two nations is described. Third, a
series of trade negotiations which started in the early 1980s is chronicled. Finally,
the background of the 1986 STA and the subsequent conflicts are summarized.
Earlier Period: 1950s and 1960s
The semiconductor (integrated circuit) was invented by two Americans in
1959, following the invention of the transistor by Bell Laboratories in 1947 (Destler
1992,127). Silicon Valley, which came into being in the late 1950s, has long
represented the technological cutting edge and engineered the development of the
semiconductor industry as "an unchallenged leader" in the world (Tyson 1993,88).
Small ventures such as Texas Instruments, as Well as giant firms, including
General Motors, RCA, and IBM, were the driving force in the evolution of
semiconductors for many years (Prestowitz 1988,31).
Such an important development was not made without government support.
Though none of these private companies were funded for their research and
development (R & D), they were certainly assured of a large demand by the U.S.
17


government. According to Tyson (1993,86), the U.S. government was willing to
purchase chips in quantity at premium prices and that helped a growing number of
companies refine their production skills and develop elaborate manufacturing
facilities. Thus, the U.S. government's military procurement is believed to have
played an important role in the evolution of semiconductors throughout the 1960s.
Japan's Challenge in the 1970s
Determined to close the gap with the United States, the Ministry of
International Trade and Industry (MIT1) of Japan decided to target the development
of semiconductors as one of the most important industries as early as the late 1950s
(Prestowitz 1988,33). Specifically, Mil l promoted Japanese chip manufacturers
to create "a competitive indigenous computer industry" (Tyson 1993,93). Despite
the MITI's efforts, however, the U.S. dominance in the semiconductor market
remained unchallenged worldwide, including in the Japanese market, well into the
1970s. Thus, when the foreign market share of semiconductors in Japan hit 40
percent in 1974, MTU decided to intervene more heavily to reverse that trend.
As it often did in other growth sectors in the past, MTTI again resorted to
their powerful influence over the industry and informally pressured the chip users
not to use foreign chips. The Japanese government has long used such informal
guidelines, "administrative guidance," to help specific industries deal with problems
as necessary (Okimoto 1989,93). It is widely believed that Mill's administrative
guidance effectively prevented the U.S. firms from increasing sales in the Japanese
semiconductor market. Despite their lower prices and higher quality, U.S.
manufacturers could not easily enter the Japanese market, which was protected by


numerous informal barriers (Tyson 1993,95). Consequently, the import share in
Japan began to decline steadily (Flamm 1991,24).
Development in the 1980s
As Japan's highly charged catch-up efforts continued, by the end of the
1970s the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) began to complain about
Japan's unfair trade practices. At their request, the first formal negotiations were
initiated in 1981. The SIA's utmost concern was Japan's selling of chips at
extremely low prices, a practice called dumping. There was, however, a
fundamental disagreement over what was the problem. Japan did not admit to the
U.S. accusation of dumping. Instead, Japanese officials claimed Japan was
following normal business practices in order to "build a more prosperous and
powerful country" (Prestowitz 1988,47).
In the early 1980s, the semiconductor trade was not a priority for the United
States government. In fact, the issue of trade itself was not a priority. The Reagan
White House, which was ardently in support of free trade, did not see the need to
regulate the semiconductor trade with a bilateral agreement. When the negotiations
started in 1981 under Congressional pressure to do something about Japan's
continued dumping and closed semiconductor market, only a few officials in the
U.S. government were concerned with Japan's dumping, and they were initially
unsuccessful in getting the government's attention (Prestowitz 1988,50-52).
The State Department and the National Security Council, meanwhile, were reluctant
to confront Japan because they regarded Japan as an important ally. Other related
agencies and departments in the U.S. government were simply not interested.
19


Nonetheless, in November 1982, due to the efforts of the few interested parties, the
First Semiconductor Agreement was concluded.
Unsatisfied with the progress after the 1982 agreement, which the
Department of Commerce described as "more a monument to clever drafting than
anything else" (Prestowitz 1988,52), Congress continued to put pressure on the
executive branch to further negotiate with Japan. The resulting Second
Semiconductor Agreement, concluded in November 1983, however, did not
significantly change the situation, either. At this point, the Reagan Administration
was still not fully engaged in this dispute.
While the Japanese industry kept producing increasingly lower-priced
semiconductors, many U.S. manufacturers went out of business. Those who
stayed in business were reporting huge losses (Prestowitz 1988,55). During 1985,
the Japanese share of the global semiconductor market finally surpassed the U.S.
share (Prestowitz 1988,55). Faced with this unprecedented crisis in their history,
the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) finally filed for relief against unfair
Japanese trading practices under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 in June of
1985. By then, Congressional pressure on President Reagan to take action against
Japan had peaked, especially since the trade deficit hit the $ 150-billion mark in
1985 (Prestowitz 1988,56). Meanwhile, the SIA had further strengthened the
highly sophisticated lobbying efforts against Congress to pass tough legislation
against Japan.
It was against this background that the whole U.S. government began to
take up the issue of semiconductor trade more seriously. In September, President
Reagan declared a new trade policy that emphasized a tougher approach to foreign
20


countries.4 The semiconductor trade was selected as the Administration's first
target. In December 1985, the U.S. government (the Department of Commerce)
filed a dumping case against the Japanese chip manufacturers following the SIA's
suit and two dumping petitions from private industry.
Thus, the situation in which both countries negotiated a third
semiconductor agreement, the 1986 STA, was substantially different from the
previous two agreements. By the beginning of 1986, Japan had already been
saddled with several anti-dumping cases, and was simultaneously threatened with
the possibility of retaliation under Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 for
dumping and unfair trade charges. The United States had gained "the leverage for
negotiating market access" thanks to these legal charges against Japan (Krauss
1993b, 267).
The Semiconductor Trade Agreement of 1986
The third semiconductor trade agreement was finally reached on July 31,
1986 (Fukushima 1992,226). It was aimed at addressing two issues: dumping and
foreign share in the Japanese market. Among other numerous trade pacts concluded
between the United States and Japan during the 1980s, the 1986 STA has been
regarded as unique for one distinct feature in its provisions. Unlike previous trade
agreements (as in auto and steel exports), which were intended to limit Japan's
exports through the use of voluntary export restraints (VERs), the 1986 STA was
intended to increase U.S. firms' access to Japanese markets to expand U.S.
4 It was meant to be a somewhat symbolic gesture to show toughness to Congress (Destler 1992,
126).
21


exports. Specifically, in a side letter to the agreement (which was then not known to
the public) Japan offered to "try to expand foreign chip makers' share of the
Japanese market to 20 percent by 1991" (Flamm 1991,23). Anti-dumping
measures required the Japanese government to constantly monitor "cost and price
data of Japanese chip producers to determine whether they are violating U.S. anti-
dumping laws" (Wall Street Journal June 5,1991, A2).
During the negotiations, the Japanese industry was not happy as they
perceived that conforming to the proposed agreement would put too much burden
on them. The disputed "dumping in third markets" was perceived as illegal by the
United States, but not by Japan.5 Nevertheless, the Japanese government
eventually entered into an agreement under growing political pressures from the
United States. The Japanese government above all wanted to avoid retaliation
tariffs. According to C. Fred Bergsten, director of Institute for International
Economics, the bilateral agreement was "a short-cut" for Japan to the solution of the
mounting dumping charges brought against Japan's unfair trade practices (1993,
129).
Retaliation
Against the expectation of U.S. negotiators, the 1986 STA did not bring
any immediate changes in Japanese firms' behavior. Less than two months after
the 1986 STA was signed, the U.S. government began to express its concern to
Japanese trade officials for Japan's continued third-market dumping. In the
5 The series of legal actions against Japan was referred to as "multiple legal harassment" by a
Japanese trade official (Miyasato 1990,98).
22


meantime, frustration over Japanese unchanging trade pattern was building among
the members of Congress. By mid-March, 1987, both houses of Congress had
passed unanimous resolutions which called for retaliation against Japan for both the
dumping violations and the lack of improvement in foreign chip makers' market
access. Under increasing pressure from Congress and the SIA, finally on April 17,
1987, President Reagan imposed tariffs on $300 million worth of the Japanese
exports, following Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act (Krauss 1993b, 276).
When the retaliatory tariffs were initially announced, a newspaper article in
Japan (Nikkei March 30,1987) reported the Japanese government had sworn that it
did not violate the agreement and initially protested the U.S. decision. The
retaliation, the first such act in the postwar history, shocked and angered the
Japanese government as well as the industry which had been dissatisfied with the
unilateral nature of the 1986 STA. They were puzzled as they saw the retaliation as
unreasonable in light of Japan's increased efforts to open the market and business
cooperation since 1986. Moreover, the Japanese government had never recognized
the illegality of their selling practice (charged as dumping) nor the allegedly closed
market of Japan. The Japanese government protested that it would either appeal to
GATT on the basis that retaliatory tariffs as well as the STA itself was against
GATT (Nikkei March 30,1987). Yet, the Japanese government's appeal for
reconsideration did not change the course of event.
In response to Mi l l, the U. S. government explained that the retaliation
was not a protectionist action but only a reaction to Japan's dumping and closed
market (Nikkei April 11,1987). Unless the real figure (market share) showed an
increase, they added, that they would consider the STA to be violated (Matsui
23


1993,15). Hence, Reagan's action set the stage for yet another confrontation over
semiconductor trade.
A Side-Letter Controversy
Another incident that created furor on both sides and further politicized the
issue of semiconductor trade concerned a side letter to the STA. The specifics
of the "secret" side letter unexpectedly became public in January of 1989,
when a newly appointed United States Trade Representative (USTR), Carla Hills,
disclosed the details at her Senate confirmation hearing. The letter6 was interpreted
by the U.S. as Japan's promise to open the market to foreign producers at least 20
percent.
After the revelation was made, the Japanese government initially denied
even the existence of the side letter. (They would have lost face if they had
accepted the U.S. claim that Japan "promised" to open the market.) The
disagreement between the two governments over the nature of Japan's commitment
to the target attracted the attention of the media for the following several months
(Fukushima 1992, 236).
Later, as more details came out, Japanese officials modified their original
stance but still denied having made an actual commitment to a 20 percent target in
the letter: a M1TI official argued that even if there had been a letter, there was no
6 The letter stated, "The Government of Japan recognizes the U.S. semiconductor industry's
expectation that semiconductor sales in Japan of foreign capital-affiliated companies will grow
to at least slightly above 20 percent of Japanese market in five years," and that the Japanese
government "will encourage Japanese users to purchase more foreign-based semiconductors"
(Krauss 1993b, 296).
24


mention of a promise (Kuroda 1989,69). Such persistent denial by Japanese
officials puzzled and annoyed U.S. trade negotiators (Nikkei March 8,1989). As a
result of this incident, the Japanese government suffered embarrassment because of
their contradiction in their public statements.
During the rest of the tenure of the 1986 ST A, the issue of semiconductor
trade remained one of the most dominant conflicts of all trade disputes between the
two nations. In 1989, semiconductors became the target of retaliatory action again.
This time semiconductors came under consideration as "a priority item" as
designated under Super 301, a newly established procedure in the Omnibus Trade
Act of 1988, effective initially for 1989 and 1990. Super 301 would require the
U.S. government to retaliate if unfair trade practices by a country designated by the
USTR were not terminated after a period of consultation (Milner 1990,178). The
Japanese government, however, managed to persuade the U.S. government not to
name the Japanese semiconductor industry.
Renewal
Eventually, the 1986 ST A proved to be fairly effective concerning
Japan's dumping, which virtually ceased by November, 1987. The agreement,
however, was not as effective with respect to improving the U.S. market share in
Japan. Certainly, U.S. firms' activities had increased significantly since 1986.
In addition to the expansion of sales, technological cooperation with Japanese chip
makers was on the rise, and the semiconductor industry was being integrated
further to the benefit of both the U.S. and Japanese industries. However, the U.S.
25


share did not grow enough7 as it remained far below the 20 percent target. Thus,
the SIA requested the Bush Administration to negotiate an extension of the 1986
agreement with Japan.
In response to the SIA's action, the Japanese Electronics Industry
Association (JEIA) announced its opposition (Yomiuri October 6,1990). For the
Japanese government and the industry, the most disturbing issue was the market
share provision, by which they felt humiliated (Yomiuri March 21,1987; Nikkei
March 22,1987). Reflecting strong industry opposition, the Japanese government
was originally against the renewal. Nevertheless Japan, concerned with further
politicization of the issue and deterioration of the bilateral relationship, agreed to
renew the agreement in June 1991, in exchange for the lifting of trade sanctions.
The proposed STA of 1991 was different from the original in some ways.
The 1986 STA was modified to include explicit mention of the market share target.
The new anti-dumping procedures, which replaced the elaborate price-control
system, were considered to require less bureaucratic control and in this sense less
managed trade.
Conclusion: Significance of the STA to Each Government
As indicated in the above accounts, the 1986 STA had become one of
the most "politically" significant trade agreements between the United States and
7 The foreign market share grew from 8.6 percent in 1986 to 13.2 percent by 1990 according to
WSTS (Ahahi May 15,1991).
26


Japan by the time it neared its expiration. The STA was important in that it was the
first serious attempt to pursue results from a trade act by setting up a import target.
No sooner had the STA been signed by the two nations, than it became one of the
most highly political trade accords.
For the U.S., it was important in that the agreement marked a turning point
of U.S. trade policy toward Japan, from a more conciliatory policy which weighed
diplomacy to a more result-oriented, confrontational one. Proponents of the 1986
STA shared the view that since the market mechanism did not work in Japan,
special measures were needed to address trade imbalance in semiconductors. Glen
S. Fukushima, a participant in the 1985-1987 trade negotiations, stated (1992,240)
that the 20 percent target was set in the 1986 STA ironically in order to make the
free market principle work better in Japan. For Japan, the 1986 accord was
significant in that MTU failed to control the course of events following the signing,
which was rather unusual for its history of influence and political maneuver.
In short, the STA is considered significant in that its provisions were
understood very differently in the U.S. and Japan. The next chapter compares how
the U.S. and Japanese press covered the renewal of the agreement in 1991 to
examine whether or not the differences in the position of each government were
reflected in press coverage.
27


CHAPTER THREE
FINDINGS
Introduction
This chapter, consisting of two parts, discusses the results of the content
analysis of the press coverage on the ST A. First, a general comparison is made of
the attributes of the U.S. and Japanese articles, newsworthiness and other general
patterns. Second, a point-by-point comparison is made of various views on a
given theme related to the ST A.
General Comparison
Numbers and Types of Articles
As the table 3.1. shows the total number of newspaper articles was 17 for
the U.S. newspapers and 64 for the Japanese newspapers. The significant
difference in the total number of news articles is partly due to inherent differences
between the U.S. and Japanese press. First, the Japanese newspapers tend to
include very short items of only a few paragraphs while the U.S. articles are
generally long. The data selected for this project fit this pattern. Of the 64
Japanese articles, 25 articles consisted of one or two paragraphs. The articles I
collected from the U.S. newspapers did not include such short items. All but one
U.S. article had at least ten paragraphs.
28


Second, Japanese newspapers are published twice a day, with a morning
and evening version, except on Sundays. U.S. newspapers are published once a
day. Though the evening version has significantly fewer pages, the first
international news from the West tends to appear in the evening version because of
the time lag. The same news is usually covered more fully in the morning version
the following day. The evening version also provides an additional opportunity for
analysis. With regard to Japanese press coverage of the STA, the ratio of the
moming/evening version was 45/19.
Table 3.1. Numbers and types of articles
Category US (%) Japan (%)
Straight News 13 (76.5) 42 (65.6)
Analysis 4 (23.5) 11 (17.2)
Feature (Series) 0 7 (10.9)
Editorial 0 3 (4.9)
Interview 0 1 fl.6)
Total 17 (100.0) 64 (100.0)
Aside from these inherent characteristics of the Japanese newspapers, the
biggest factor affecting the volume of articles may be the newsworthiness perceived
by each press. Accordingly, I next examined what kind of news constituted each
country's straight news, which constituted the majority of all the press coverage.
29


As table 3.1. shows, a majority of the articles in both countries were
straight news.8 However, of the Japanese articles, more than one third, 22 items,
were other than straight news, and they were in four different categories: analysis,
feature, editorial and interview.9 Of the U.S. articles, three quarters, 13 items,
were straight news and the rest were all analytical pieces. No other category
existed. No editorials were written in the U.S. press. This means that, by far,
more pages in Japanese newspapers were devoted to subjective opinions and
analysis by the press than in U.S. newspapers.
Most of the analysis articles in the Japanese press appeared in such regular
columns as "Commentary," "Undercurrent," and "News Review," unique to each
newspaper. All three Japanese elite newspapers, Asahi. Nikkei. Yomiuri. carried
features either before or after the agreement was reached. These relatively long
pieces were written to give readers a more detailed background of the STA than one
that was included in the daily news. Asahi's feature series, titled "Merits and
Demerits of the 1986 STA (May 15-17,1991)" was done in three parts. Two
foreign correspondents traveled to New York, Boise, Minneapolis, and Berkeley
and did interviews on the history of U.S.-Japan competition in the semiconductor
industry. Yomiuri's series, titled "A Spin-off of the 1991 STA (June 6-7,1991),"
8 "Straight News" is defined as an article that covers daily news, written largely to transmit the
facts. In this project, straight news articles containing analytical comments were categorized under
Straight News.
9 Articles categorized under "Analysis" include opinions and columns. "Feature" is defined here as
those Japanese investigative stories written by reporters. Feature is carried in a series, in two- to
three- parts, under one title and usually accompanies the coverage of significant news as additional
background information. It gives an analysis of background of a news event and may be written
from a specific point of view of the newspaper (van Dijk 1988,124). Additionally, it usually
includes a picture. An "interview" is a report of an interview conducted by a newspaper reporter.
30


was in two parts and done anonymously. It focused on the reaction of the
semiconductor industry around the world. Nikkei's series, titled "Exploring the
way for U.S.-Japan's Co-Existence (June 6-7,1991)," investigated various
industrial activities and plans for the future. One piece was written in Houston and
the other in Japan. Editorials appeared in all Japanese newspapers but Asahi. One
interview report was conducted with the SIA chairman Wilfred Corrigan by Asahi
(May 2, 1991).
Subjects Covered
Table 3.2. shows the subjects of the straight news in U.S. and Japanese
press coverage. The purpose of table 3.2 is two-fold. First, it shows what subjects
by themselves constituted separate articles and it compares the ratio of single-
subject to multiple-subject articles in each press. Second, it illuminates the
different standard of the newsworthiness between the U.S. and Japanese press.
Table 3.2. indicates that more than 80 percent of the straight news articles in
Japan covered only one subject. The subjects covered included the negotiation
schedule and agenda, comments by USTR and the SIA chairman and reactions to
the STA. In contrast, more than 80 percent of the U.S. articles covered multiple
subjects. In the Japanese newspapers, any disagreement between the U.S. and
Japan during the months-long negotiations was almost always reported. As many
as twelve Japanese articles were written solely on the progress or the stalemate of
the negotiations. In fact, the Japanese press followed the progress of the
negotiations at every step of the way.


Table 3.2.-The subjects of the straight news
Subjects US (%) Japan (%)
Articles with a single subject 2 (15.4) 36 (85.7)
Schedule 0 9 (21.4)
Signing of the STA 0 2 (4.8)
Negotiation agenda/update 0 12 (28.6)
Comment by USTRa 0 6 (14.3)
Comment by SIAb 0 1 (2.4)
Reaction to the STAC 2 (15.4) 6 (14.3)
Congress 1
SIA 3
Japanese companies 1
Joint press conference 1 2
Articles with multiple subjects 11 (84.6) 6 (14.3)
Total 13(100.0) 42(100.0)
a U.S. Trade Representative
b The Semiconductor Industry Association
c The Semiconductor Trade Agreement of 1991
In the U.S. press, the fact that a negotiation took place on a certain day by
itself did not necessarily make news. Thus STA-related articles appeared much less
frequently in the U.S. press, but whenever one appeared, it was likely to be
complemented with other background information.
As table 3.2. shows, another newsworthy topic in the Japanese press was
comments by the U.S. trade officials or the SIA officials during the negotiations.
Their comments, to which the Japanese press was very attentive were reported in
seven separate articles. The fact that the comments were described as a "demand"
(three times) and as a "threat" (once) by the United States seems to explain why
32


they made news in the Japanese press. One article (Nikkei. May 21,1991) even
included a picture of U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills. As far as the STA was
concerned, no other picture accompanied the Japanese straight news articles. It
seems to reflect the Japanese press' interest not only in the office of U.S. Trade
Representative but also in Carla Hills, reputed as a tough female negotiator. In the
U.S. newspapers, no separate stories were written in response to either U.S. or
Japanese trade officials' comments. Instead, some comments made by the related
parties were reported only as part of the larger news.
To sum up, the negotiations and the related activities of the U.S.
government and the SIA were more closely followed by the Japanese press than by
the U.S. press, which mostly ignored the negotiations until they neared conclusion.
When the U.S. press did cover the news, most of the articles included multiple
subjects. Consequently, there were nearly twice as many straight news articles
with multiple subjects in the U.S. press than the Japanese press, despite the wide
difference in the absolute number of articles between the two countries. These
differences as summarized in table 3.2. indicate the different standards of
newsworthiness set by each press.
Sources
Next, news sources were compared. Whether the story is written by a
domestic writer or by a foreign correspondent is an important factor contributing to
the objectivity of the press coverage. According to Balter (1993), foreign
correspondents have a less narrow view and their stories tend to be less critical of
33


the country where they are stationed even when that country is under attack by their
home country.
As table 3.3 shows, the distribution of the sources was very different
between the two nations. In U.S. press coverage, outside contributors wrote as
many articles as staff writers did. It is not known how common this type of special
contribution is in U.S. news coverage related to trade, since there are no
comparable data available as of this writing. However, frequent inclusion of special
contributors should add different perspectives to U.S. press coverage. All the U.S.
articles identified the writers.
Table 3.3.-Sources of news
Sources US (%) Japan (%)
Staff Writer 1 (41.2) 0
Editor 0 3 (4.7)
Analyst 0 1 (1-6)
Foreign Correspondent 5 (29.4) 36 (56.3)
Anonymous 0 21 (32.8)
Outside contributor 5 (29.4) 0
Wire Services 0 3 (4.7)
Total 17 (100.0) 64 (100.0)
In the Japanese press, foreign correspondents contributed the majority of
the news. The negotiations held in Washington D.C.10 were covered exclusively
10. The negotiations alternated between Washington D. C. and Tokyo; May 8-11, 1991,
Washington, D.C.; May 17-19, 1991, Tokyo; 3-4 June, 1991, Washington, D.C.
34


by foreign correspondents, while the negotiations held in Tokyo were reported
anonymously. The anonymous Japanese articles were written by staff writers in
Tokyo. Between the negotiations, additional news (mainly on U.S. officials'
comments) was also reported by foreign correspondents. In the U.S. press,
regardless of the location of the negotiations, foreign correspondents in Tokyo
wrote news stories for Wall Street Journal and Christian Science Monitor while all
articles in The New York Times and all but one article in Washington Post were
written in Washington D.C. Based on Balter's argument that foreign
correspondents are less chauvinistic than the writers in the home country, the
Japanese press was theoretically in a better position to look at the issue objectively.
Incidentally, the U.S. press did not carry a single news story from wire services
while the Japanese press used them three times.
Balance in Quotes
Next, I examined the quotes in the articles that appeared immediately after
the conclusion of the STA negotiations. The purpose of this comparison was to
find out how extensively comments were sought by each press and how they were
balanced between American and Japanese spokespersons. During the period
immediately after the conclusion of the STA, from June 4 to 6, seven articles
containing quotes appeared in the U.S. press and eight appeared in the Japanese
press. Table 3.4. shows the comparison among the newspapers.
As table 3.4. indicates, on average, an article in the U.S. press included
more quotes than an article in the Japanese press. Overall, there were nearly twice
35


as many quotes in the U.S. articles as in the Japanese articles. The emphasis on
getting comments seems to be stronger in the U.S. press. Both presses focused on
the comments from industry representatives; they represented 64 percent of the
individuals quoted in the Japanese press and 56 percent in the U.S. press.
However, the U.S. press included comments from a wider range of people than the
Japanese press did. Each press tended to get more comments from their own
government and industry officials than from the other government and industry. In
the U.S. press, the ratio of American to Japanese quotes was 71.8 to 28.2 percent.
In the Japanese press, the same ratio was 27.2 to 72.7 percent. In terms of
absolute numbers, the U.S. press included nearly as many as comments by
Japanese industry representatives as the Japanese press did. Both presses quoted
the same people. The slight difference in the figures was due to the fact that the
same people were quoted more than once in different the Japanese newspapers. As
table 3.4. shows, of all the newspapers, the large number of quotes in the Wall
Street Journal is salient. The three articles in Wall Street Journal included twenty-
one quotes altogether while The New York Times and Washington Post included
nine and five quotes respectively. This comparison illuminates the difference of
Wall Street Journal as a business paper from the rest of the newspapers. In the
Japanese press, although Nikkei is compared to Wall Street Journal as a business-
oriented newspaper, there was not much difference in the number of quotes
between Nikkei and the other Japanese newspapers. The number of quotes per
article ranged from one to five.
36


Table 3.4.- Number of comments quoted in articles
Newspapers US US US US JPN JPN JPN Total
Executive Cong. Industry others gov. industry others
NYT, June 4 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 5
NYT, June 5 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 4
NYT, June 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
WP, June 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
WP, June 5 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 5
WSJ, June 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2
WSJ, June 5 2 1 5 1 1 1 0 11
WSJ, June 6 0 0 2 0 0 6 0 8
CSM, June 6 1 0 2 0 0 1 0 4
US total 6 5 14 3 3 8 0 39
(%) (15.4) (12.8) (35.9) (7.7) (7.7) (20.5) 0 (100.0)
Asahi, June 5, p.8 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Asahi, June 5, p.9 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 5
Yomiuri, June 5 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3
Nikkei, June 5, p.l 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Nikkei, June 5, p.5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Nikkei, June 5, p.ll 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 5
Nikkei, June 6, eve. 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Japan Times, June 6a 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
Japan Times, June 6b 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3
JPN total 2 1 3 0 5 11 0 22
(%) (9.1) (4.5) (13.6) 0 (22.7) (50.0) 0 (100.0)
Total 8 6 17 3 8 19 0 61
a Top column
b Bottom column
37


Background
To further understand the general characteristics of the press coverage, I
next compared the extent and type of background each press provided as part of
news stories on the 1991 STA. As described in Chapter Two, throughout the
tenure of the original 1986 STA, the U.S. and Japanese governments were
constantly at odds with each other regarding Japan's commitment to the pact.
Hence, if the press coverage has the tendency to reflect each government's position,
context and background could be given very differently. With this assumption in
mind, I examined the data by coding the range of subjects covered.
As data in table 3.5. shows, despite a much larger number of Japanese
articles overall, U.S. and Japanese press coverage included about the same number
of articles containing background. Only sixteen Japanese articles out of sixty-four
articles included some discussion of background. Of the sixteen articles, seven
were "feature" articles that exclusively dealt with background. Many of the
Japanese "straight news" articles were shorter by comparison and did not include
background. Yet, even some longer Japanese articles strikingly omitted
background. The U.S. articles were relatively long and most of them, thirteen out
of seventeen, included some background on the STA negotiations.
The total number of background topics was greater in the U.S. articles. The
items listed under "background topics" in table 3.5. relate to the major issues
related to the 1986 STA described in detail in Chapter Two. They are: The political
context of 1985, semiconductor industry development, the goal/provisions of 1986
STA, the U.S. sanctions in 1987, the side effects of the 1986 STA, the controversy
over the secret side letter, and the effect: improved share. On an average, there
38


were 2.2 background topics per article in U.S. press coverage while there were 1.3
topics per article in Japanese press coverage11.
Table 3.5.Occurrence of topics related to background on the 1986 STA
Background topics US (%) Japan (%)
Political context of 1985 2 (15.4) 0
Semiconductor industry development 3 (23.1) 8 (50.0)
Goal/provisions of the 1986 STA 4 (30.8) 1 (6.3)
U.S. sanctions in 1987 4 (30.8) 4 (25.0)
Side effects of the 1986 STA 4 (30.8) 1 (6.3)
Controversy over the secret side letter 8 (61.5) 4 (25.0)
The effect: improved share 4 (30.8) 3 (18.8)
Total number of background topics3 29(100.0) 21 (100.0)
Total number of the articles containing background 13 (100.0) 16 (100.0)
a Multiple coding
The imbalance between the U.S. and Japanese articles concerning press'
focus on each subject seems significant. Table 3.5. indicates that the U.S. articles
provided background more evenly and more frequently among the topics than in the
Japanese press.
Table 3.5. also indicates rather significant differences in the occurrence of
specific background topics between the U.S. and Japanese articles. First, the
political context regarding the situation prompting the 1986 negotiations was totally
left out of the Japanese articles but included in two U.S. articles; the Japanese
11 The ratio is based on the articles containing background.
39


articles omitted the reference to Japan's alleged dumping in 1985. The legal
judgment involving dumping has been controversial and Japan never admitted to the
charge. Yet, totally ignoring the topic suggests a lack of objectivity in Japanese
press coverage.
The topic of the development of the semiconductor industry was covered
much more frequently by the Japanese press than in the American press; eight
references were in the Japanese press and three were in the American press. Seven
out of the eight Japanese references were in feature articles. It suggests that the
Japanese press chose to provide more extensive industry background by using the
format of feature (in series) which allowed plenty of space to describe the strength
of the Japanese industry. In the U.S. press, references to background generally
topics were not mixed with opinions.
The topic of so-called the side-letter controversy was the background topic
to which the U.S. press referred most frequently. The controversy arose from the
different interpretations of the side-letter to the 1986 STA. The Japanese
government was embarrassed when their public statements regarding the letter
proved false. Data in Table 3.5. show more than half the U.S. newspaper articles
that included some background topics mentioned this controversy. As stated
above, events that turn out to be an embarrassment for a government are what each
press is most likely to omit if the press coverage tends to be pro-govemment.
Considering MITTs denial of the existence of the letter (Fukushima 1992,235;
Nikkei March 5,1989), it might be expected that the Japanese press would talk
little about it. As it turned out, there were four articles that did mention the
Japanese government's flip-flop on the side-letter, though without adding any
40


opinions regarding the issue. Thus this finding suggests that the Japanese press is
not pro-government enough to keep some embarrassing information from printing.
Similarly, the U.S. press also talked about certain incidents that were an
embarrassment to the U.S. government. These incidents were the side effects of
the 1986 STA and included the shortage of products and the rise in semiconductor
prices after the 1987 trade sanctions. Four items duly explained how the 1986 STA
turned out to be a failure in the sense that it caused a series of side effects which
ended up giving Japanese companies windfall profits. Thus, the U.S. press was
also not biased in either government's favor. The Japanese press did not pay much
attention to this incident, with only one article discussing the side effects of the
1986 STA. This finding also seems to defy the stereotypical image of the Japanese
press, which is that it tends to be critical of the U.S; government and favorable
toward the Japanese government. The stereotype suggests that the Japanese press
would have taken advantage of the embarrassing incidents to attack the 1986 STA,
which the Japanese government regarded as an unreasonable and one-sided
agreement. One possible explanation for these results may be that the Japanese
press is not necessarily as biased as we tend to think it is. Another possibility may
be that the Japanese reporters were not well-informed of the background.
Point-bv-Point Comparison
Following is the comparative analysis of each press' point of view on
certain themes that appeared frequently in either press or in both. The purpose of
this analysis is to compare how differently or similarly each press considered
different themes related to the STA. Accordingly, the data used in this section are
41


only those articles containing the press' views. Those articles not expressing views
were eliminated from consideration. Points of view were not only expressed in
"analysis," "features," and "editorials," but also implicitly or even explicitly
expressed in "straight news." Consequently, the total number of articles was 11
for the U.S. and 26 for the Japanese press coverage (table 3.6.). The themes used
as comparative measures are listed in table 3.7. The examination of the press
coverage indicated the following themes dominated the expressed views: US-Japan
competitiveness, Japanese unfair trade practices, free-trade vs. managed trade, why
the U.S. and Japan compromised, and the implications of the STA.
Table 3.6.--Type of articles expressing views
Type of articles U.S. (%) Japan (%)
Straight Newsa 7 (63.6) 5 (19.2)
Analysis 4 (36.4) 11 (42.3)
Feature (Series) 0 7 (26.9)
Editorials 0 3 (11.5)
Total 11 (100.0) 26 (100.0)
a Of the 13 U.S. straight news articles, seven included analysis/opinions. Of 42 Japanese straight
news articles, five included analysis/opinions.
42


Table 3.7.Number of articles expressing views on the themes
Themes US (%) Japan (%)
US-Japan competitiveness 0 9 (34.6)
Japanese unfair trade practices 1 (9.1) 0
Free-trade vs. managed trade 6 (54.5) 9 (34.6)
Why US/Japan compromised 2 (18.2) 6 (23.1)
Business cooperation 5 (45.5) 7 (26.9)
Implications
Future conflict over the market share goal 0 11 (42.3)
STA becoming a precedent 1 (9.1) 4 (15.4)
Future trade sanctions 0 2 (7.8)
Total number of themes expresseda 15 48
Total number of articles expressing views 11(100.0) 26(100.0)
a Multiple coding
Competitiveness
As discussed in Chapter One, former deputy U.S. trade representative Glen
Fukushima (1992,124) observed during the 1985-1987 semiconductor trade
negotiations that the U.S. press tended to describe the semiconductor trade conflict
in light of Japan's unfair trade practices whereas the Japanese press almost always
described the issue as a matter of competitiveness. Using his statement as a
comparative measure, I examined whether or not the press coverage of the renewal
of the STA in the United States and Japan similarly reflected such conflicting views
of unfairness versus competitiveness.
43


Data in table 3.7 show that more than one third of the Japanese articles
presented the issue of semiconductor trade in terms of competitiveness in some way
while no U.S. articles did so. On the issue of competitiveness, the U.S. and the
Japanese press presented very different views. Nine articles in the Japanese press
referred to the lack of competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers as a cause for
friction. Three of them specifically argued that the STA by itself did not solve
fundamental causes of friction and that solution had to include improving U.S.
industry's competitiveness. They called attention to the lack of competitiveness of
U.S. semiconductor makers and criticized that such a fundamental issue had been
"shelved" during the negotiations that focused mainly on Japan's need to change.
In contrast, no U.S. articles related the issue of competitiveness to the STA.
Of the nine Japanese articles, five were feature series run by Asahi.
Yomiuri. and Nikkei. These articles detailed the superiority of Japanese
companies and technology and how the U.S. companies had to rely on them to stay
in business. They also mentioned how a number of U.S. semiconductor producers
went out of business in a volatile market in the 1980s and how the SIA rushed to
Washington for help. The basic message common to most of these Japanese
articles was that, having failed in market competition, the United States now
demanded the extension of the STA. The preoccupation with competitiveness was
particularly apparent in the headlines of some of the Japanese feature articles. Four
articles had a headline that implied Japan's superiority in semiconductor production.
They were:
"Sense of Fear Persists Among U.S. Manufactures," (Asahi. May 15,
1991)
44


"US Losing in Production of Memories," f Asahi. May 16,1991)
"US Growing Fast Taking Advantage of Japanese Technology," (Asahi.
May 17,1991)
"US Shelving the Issue of Improving Competitiveness," (Nikkei. June 7,
1991)
Of the three newspapers, Asahi's feature series presented the tendency to
stress the weakness of the U.S. manufactures most distinctively. Surprisingly,
these headlines were used even when the story was on the strength of the U.S.
manufactures in certain areas. In fact, the Japanese press' assertion in 1991 that
the U.S. industry was not competitive could be disputed. For example, while the
Japanese semiconductor industry was strong in commodity chips in the late 1980s,
the U.S. industry was already leading in the production of so-called specialized
chips which were more advanced. Moreover, the U.S. semiconductor industry has
regained strength since the late 1980s due to the growing demand for these
advanced chips (Asahi May 2,1991: Asahi May 15,1991). Therefore, there seems
to be no simple answer to the question of which country is more competitive in their
semiconductor industry.
As for unfairness, only one U.S. article described the Japanese trade
policies as unfair. No Japanese articles did so. The results thus show that
Fukushima's characterization still applies to the Japanese press' point of view in
1991 while it does not necessarily apply to U.S. press' point of view. In the one
U.S. article that implied that Japan's trade policy was unfair, unfairness was
mentioned only as the U.S. government's point of view and not as that of the
45


press. It stated "such steps [a managed trade approach] were justified by the
Republican White House to correct past closure of Japan's microchip market and to
help stop alleged dumping of Japanese semiconductors" (Christian Science Monitor
June 6,1991,4). This article, however, did not provide strong support for a
characterization of unfairness, or at least it did not take a strong stand on the issue.
Rather, the article gave the impression that the writer did not agree with the
administration's policy. Additionally, there was one American article that disputed
the Semiconductor Industry Association's assertion of unfairness. An article in
Wall Street Journal (May 20,1991, A18) argued that U.S. chip makers' accusation
of Japan's unfairly selling below cost did "not hold water." The writer then
recounted how that practice of so-called dumping was a normal business practice
for American as well as foreign chip makers. Interestingly, this argument was in
fact the same one as the Japanese government was making all along.
In summary, in describing the development of the industry, the Japanese
press tended to be subjective by emphasizing the strength of Japanese industries
and overlooking the strength of the U.S. industries. In 1991, the Japanese press in
general expressed a similar view on the semiconductor trade as they did in 1986 by
focusing on the U.S.-Japan competition and tending to blame the U.S.' lack of
efforts. Additionally, while blaming the U.S. for shelving the issue of improving
their competitiveness, the Japanese press themselves seem to have shelved Japan's
own problems in their coverage. In the Japanese articles, the need for Japan to try
to remove their non-tariff market barriers or their one-sided export policy was never
seriously addressed. In contrast, the U.S. articles did not indicate a tendency to
46


blame Japan (e.g. for unfair trade practices) and remained descriptive and neutral
regarding the development of industry in both the U.S. and Japan.
Free-Trade vs. Managed Trade
Next, I compared how each press viewed the managed trade approach of the
STA in light of the free-trade principles that each government espoused.
According to the press coverage, both the U.S. and Japanese governments and
industry were satisfied with the 1991 STA. Specifically, two Japanese officials in
MITI were quoted as saying that the 1991 STA removed much of the managed trade
elements by mentioning market share as a target, not a guarantee fAsahi. June 5,
1991; Nikkei. June 5,1991; Japan Times. June 6, 1991). No U.S. officials
quoted in the press referred to either the term managed trade or free-trade.
Apparently, for the U.S. press, the strict anti-dumping measures included
in 1986 STA which required the Japanese government's monitoring of prices
represented a case of managed trade. Since the 1991 STA relaxed the 1986 version
of anti-dumping procedures to a degree, the U.S. press was no longer concerned
with managed trade. Thus, the U.S. press' own interpretation of the STA varied.
Six articles either briefly touched upon fiee-trade principles or used the term
managed trade in reference to the STA, but they were not in agreement on whether
the agreement had a free-trade or managed trade interpretations. Of the six articles,
three interpreted the STA as somewhat more in line with fiee-trade principles than
the 1986 STA. One article explained that the STA "dismantled protectionist rules
that were anathema to the President's [Bush's] free-trade principles" and that it was
"welcome news to free-marketers" (The New York Times. June 12,1991, D2).
47


Another article stated, "The accord reflects President Bush's desire for more free
trade in the semiconductor industry" fWall Street Journal. June 5,1991, A2). In
contrast, the other three articles, as discussed below, regarded the STA as an
agreement going against free-trade principles.
The Japanese press was not as interested with anti-dumping measures as in
the 20 percent market share goal that was imposed on Japan. Notably, the Japanese
press did not regard the modification of the anti-dumping measures as
improvements toward free-trade. Instead, the focus was almost exclusively on the
explicit mention of 20 percent market share. All the Japanese newspapers
uniformly identified the STA as nothing more than a market share agreement. Thus
the Japanese press repeatedly argued that the STA would promote managed trade
and that it would damage the free-trade regime, competitiveness and
entrepreneurship in the industry.
The Japanese press' tendency to explain the issue in terms of a free-trade
vs. managed trade dichotomy was at once apparent. Specifically, nine articles used
the term managed trade and/or free-trade. All were written critically and argued that
the STA, as being an example of a managed trade agreement, would be likely to
have negative consequences. The examples of bad effects mentioned in the articles
included damage to the future innovation and entrepreneurship in the industry,
damage to U.S. competitiveness, and the possibility of creating a global cartel
extended to the European Community (EC). For example, an editorial in Nikkei
(June 6,1991) criticized the STA as being not so much of a real solution to the
imbalance in semiconductor trade but a makeshift arrangement relying on a
48


managed trade approach: government intervention. The real solution, in the
editor's opinion, was to improve the competitiveness of U.S. chip manufactures.
Given the fact that the U.S. market share in Japan increased from 8.S
percent in 1986 to 13.2 percent by 1990 (Yomiuri June 5,1991), it could be
expected that the U.S. press would stress the merits of the STA, despite its
controversial means to that end, dictating the specific market share in an managed
trade approach. I also expected the U.S. press to justify the renewal of what U.S.
negotiators regarded as an effective agreement in defense of Japan's criticism.
This presumption regarding the U.S. press coverage proved wrong. There was no
explicit support for the STA expressed in the U.S. articles. On the contrary, the
only views explicitly expressed in the U.S. articles were negative. One article was
conspicuous by its critical tone of the U.S. government. An article in Wall Street
Journal (May 20,1991, A18) described the STA as "one of the more dreadful
experiments in managed trade" and called the supporters of the STA "advocates of
high-tech protectionism." The writer argued that the bureaucracy invariably sided
with vested interests, in this case, the SIA. This is the only U.S. article in which
the writer explicitly expressed his views.
Another article that mentioned managed trade was more cynical than critical
in its tone. This article in Christian Science Monitor (June 6,1991,4) explained
that the STA "differed from other trade agreements by dictating share in a 'managed
trade1 approach." Unlike the rest of the U.S. articles, which tended to see the
modifications of anti-dumping measures as improvements, this article regarded the
1991 STA just as bad as the 1986 STA in that both dictated managed trade. It
criticized the effects of the STA as "putting the United States in the position of
49


encouraging the Japanese government to intervene" thus implying that the U.S.
trade policy was contradictory to its free-trade principle. Except for the above two
examples, U.S. press coverage generally described the features of the STA without
i
taking a strong stand on the issues. There were few judgmental or speculative
comments.
In contrast, the Japanese press was highly engaged in presenting an
argument against the STA and its managed trade approach. Most of the criticism
found in the Japanese articles was, however, not well substantiated and was
seemingly based on a writer's own assumptions regarding the STA. Japanese
writers often used the term managed trade as a convenient tool to accuse the United
States of not observing free-trade principles. Because of repetition and for lack of
alternative themes in the coverage, the negative interpretation of the STA were
conveyed effectively in the Japanese press. Additionally, such effect seems to have
been further enforced by some critical headlines. Examples of headings were:
"Spin-off of STA: Worrying About Criticism for 'Managed Trade'"
(Yomiuri. June 5,1991),
"STA to Facilitate Trend Toward Managed Trade" (Nikkei. June 6,1991),
"Settlement for Sake of Settlement: Managed Trade Not Addressed"
(Nikkei. June 6. 1991),
"Free Trade Seen as Loser in Chip Pact" (Japan Times. June 6,1991).
Why US/Japan Compromised
The U.S. newspapers did not explore either government's motives for
compromise as many times as the Japanese press did (table 3.7.). Two U.S.
50


articles analyzed why the two countries reached an amicable agreement One of
them reasoned that "the semiconductor industries in both countries depend heavily
on exports to each other and therefore, they had stakes in a friendly outcome. And
the executives and workers in that industry tend to be young, highly educated and
global minded (The New York Times. June 6,1991, D2). In contrast, the other
article presented a completely different interpretation, written from a viewpoint
similar to the Japanese government's (Christian Science Monitor. June 7,1991).
It stated that Japan, who had not been eager to renew the pact, had yielded to the
growing U.S. pressure to make concessions. According to the article, the Gulf
War toughened the attitude of Congress toward Japan because it "highlighted the
U.S. military's dependence on Japanese high-technology."
In the Japanese press coverage, six articles provided analysis of why Japan
and the United States eventually compromised with each other. Basically, all these
articles were saying the same thing: that political considerations outweighed the
"minuses" of the STA. A typical interpretation of the press was that, under the
intense pressures from the U.S. government, Japan had no choice but to
compromise if it wanted to prevent further deterioration of the bilateral relationship.
Three articles specifically mentioned "a great pressure" from the SIA and
Congress and the immediate need to ease tension in Congress, which had been
unsatisfied with Japan's trade policy and was increasingly discontent after the Gulf
War. Two articles specifically mentioned the worries of U.S. retaliation as a reason
for Japan's giving in to the pressure. According to an analysis article (Nikkei. June
6,1991), the most important proposition for the Japanese government was
settlement for the sake of settlement. With a tone of regret, the article pointed out
51


the Mi l l's willingness to compromise. The article articulated Mill's reasoning
that no agreement on semiconductor trade would have escalated an already
deteriorating mood in Congress as well as the rest of the U.S. government, and
would jeopardize the settlement of other pending trade issues.
An additional reason, as explained by the Japanese press, related to
symbolism in the U.S.-Japan relations. One article argued that since semiconductor
trade had been the most contentious issue that lay between the two nations,
compromising on the STA would serve political and symbolic purposes by
improving the overall relations (Yomiuri June 5,1991). In some of these articles,
Japan's arrogant attitude was observed. Two articles explained that the Japanese
had been obliged to help the U.S. industries regain strength and thus renewed the
STA (Asahi June 5.1991: Yomiuri June 5.1991).
Overall, the Japanese press coverage tended to be regretful and critical of the
Japanese government's easy compromise. Of the five articles, three articles argued
that Mi l l had been worried too much about the sentiment of Congress, and that it
had allowed US to get the upper-hand in the negotiations. The U.S. press
coverage, on the other hand, neither supported nor disapproved of the U.S.
government's decision to extend the STA, except one article titled "Don't renew the
semiconductor cartel" (Wall Street Journal. May 20,1991).
Business Cooperation
There is one theme that both the U.S. and Japanese mentioned frequently
and positively: How progress had been made in increasing joint production
("design-ins") and technological cooperation since the 1986 STA was concluded.
52


Seven articles in the Japanese coverage, mostly features, referred to the
technological cooperation. Six of the Japanese articles touted the efforts of the
Japanese users (electronics companies) to incorporate more foreign chips in their
products. Five U.S. articles either talked about or quoted industry officials talking
about Japanese companies' changing attitude toward more cooperation.
The only difference between the U.S. and some of the Japanese articles
expressed opinions regarding business cooperation, whereas all the U.S. accounts
merely stated that Japanese corporations had been making efforts to be cooperative.
The opinions expressed in the Japanese articles reflected the perspective of Japanese
government officials: The initial position of the Japanese government in the STA
negotiations was to refuse to set the market share target since the progress had been
made in technological cooperation (Nikkei March 18,1991: Nikkei March 21,
1991). The Japanese officials had stated that rather than setting an import target, a
better approach to solve the U.S.-Japan semiconductor trade friction was increasing
joint ventures. The Japanese articles tended to interpret Japanese companies'
increasing efforts toward technological cooperation and joint development as
something that could take the place of the STA and as evidence that market forces
were moving in the right direction.
Some articles went so far as to say that measuring the market share would
become increasingly "futile" as two nations' industries became more integrated and
"the difference between foreign and Japanese chips became more ambiguous"
(Nikkei May 14,1991; Asahi May 17,1991). These arguments for the merits of
technological cooperation also implied that now that the Japanese companies had
53


made efforts in technological cooperation, the American companies should also
make efforts in terms of competitiveness.
Implications for the Future
The final part of this section compares U.S. and Japanese press coverage
regarding the implications of the STA. The mere fact that a number of analysis and
features were written in the Japanese newspapers suggests that the Japanese press
felt a strong need for sending the alarm somehow to the people. Specifically, there
were twelve articles, including editorials, in which various opinions regarding the
STA were expressed. U.S. press coverage, on the other hand, hardly considered
the implications of the STA at all. No editorials or opinions were written.
Among the Japanese articles, the most frequently appearing theme was the
implication of the STA for contributing to a deterioration in U.S.-Japan relations.
Eleven articles warned that the STA would be likely to create a future conflict due to
a disagreement over Japan's commitment to the market share goal and due to the
use of different formulas by each country. Without exception, the Japanese press
predicted that some kind of conflict was inevitable. Typical examples of headlines
for these articles were "The seed of future conflicts has been planted" (Nikkei. June
6,1991) and "The 1991 STA will rekindle friction over the interpretation of the
share goal" (Nikkei. June 9,1991). In the U.S. press, no articles expressed this
type of concern for future conflicts
The Japanese press' inclination to focus on potential conflicts was also
evident from the quick reaction of the press to a sign of misunderstanding by the
United States of the provisions of the STA. The U.S. negotiators and industry
54


officials publicly stated at a news conference on June 6,1991, that the United
States would use their own standard (despite the fact that the STA stipulated that the
market share would be measured by using both the U.S. and Japanese formulas).
In Japan, their comments made immediate news in three of the Japanese
newspapers. It was newsworthy for the Japanese press because their comments
made clear that the SIA's understanding was different from the Japanese
government's and thus confirmed Japanese concern for future conflicts.
In the U.S. press, the same press conference was reported only by
Washington Post (June 7,1991, Gl), and Very differently, with a plenty of
optimism. This article stressed the welcoming and friendly mood of the U.S. and
Japanese industry leaders and their strong support for the new pact. One of the
quotes in the U.S. article by industiy officials, was "the amity ...augurs well for
the success of the new pact." Another article reported the displeasure of the
Japanese industry with the final form of the STA. However, all newspapers failed
to describe the conflict between different interpretations of the STA, which became
apparent soon after it was agreed upon.
Another concern expressed by the Japanese press was the chance of the
STA's becoming "a bad precedent" for future bilateral trade agreements. Four of the
Japanese articles expressed such concern while no U.S. articles did so. The four
articles were worried about the possibility of the STA becoming some kind of a
model: that the United States would request trade agreements similar to the STA in
other sectors. These articles revealed the opposition of the Japanese press to more
agreements along the lines of the STA. In contrast, U.S. press coverage generally
did not show any such inclination. Only one article mentioned that the STA was
55


seen as the most critical of all the talks between the two countries "because it is
expected to serve as a model" for other talks (The New York Times May 23, 1991,
D2). Ironically, the Japanese press had been careful not to give such expectation to
the U.S. negotiators.
Finally, some Japanese articles were more intense than others in expressing
concerns. One of the Japanese articles pointed out that the STA was unfair in that it
was a "special accord in which only one party is obliged [to make efforts to import
more foreign chips]" (Nikkei. Evening, May 13,1991) Similarly, other articles
stressed that Japan had given preferential treatment only to the U.S. firms,
excluding other nations. What the Japanese press called a special nature of the
agreement was emphasized by citing the negative reaction of the European
Community (EC). Two articles were devoted to EC officials' complaints about the
aspect of "an exclusive cartel" between the two countries and their request to Japan
to extend the same treatment to European countries (Yomiuri. May 5,1991, June 9,
1991).
Conclusion
Both a general comparison and a point-by-point comparison revealed
distinct differences between U.S. and Japanese press coverage. Regarding the
general characteristics of the articles, first, it was found that the Japanese press
carried various types of articles on the STA while the U.S. press carried only
straight news and analysis. Second, there were more articles on the STA in the
Japanese press. The difference in the total number of articles was partly due to a
large number of the Japanese articles that were short and focused on one subject.
56


Many subjects that were covered by the Japanese press during the negotiations were
ignored by the U.S. press, but some of these subjects were incorporated into longer
news articles in the U.S. press. In providing background on the STA, the U.S.
press covered various topics more evenly and included more of them than the
Japanese press did. The description in the U.S. articles was more detailed than the
Japanese press. Rather than providing extensive background, the Japanese press
devoted its space to future implications of the STA.
The results from the point-by-point comparison of the themes in each press
coverage also revealed some differences. Regarding the issue of semiconductor
trade conflict, the Japanese press tended to blame the United States and frequently
raised the issue of competitiveness. The U.S. press, on the other hand, hardly
made any analytical comments on trade conflict, nor blamed Japan for its business
behavior. With respect to the STA itself, the Japanese press generally expressed
negative opinions and tended to regret that the Japanese government compromised
on the terms as they stood. They almost always explained the features of the STA
as managed trade and pointed out that such an approach violated free trade
principles. In contrast, few U.S. articles attempted to define the STA in terms of
free-trade principles or managed trade approach. Most U.S. articles reported the
details of the provisions without expressing writers' views. As for the implications
of the STA, the Japanese articles often expressed concerns for potential conflicts
that they thought were likely to occur, based on the different interpretations of the
obligations in the STA. Some opinions expressed in the Japanese press were
intense. In contrast, hardly any U.S. articles gave considerations.
57


Overall, the Japanese articles tended to express similar views concerning the
STA including sources of trade conflict, managed trade, and future implications.
The examination of the Japanese press accounts suggested the existence of a
framework shared by most Japanese reporters that was at the heart of all the views
expressed. This analytical framework can be summarized as follows: the press
tended to give a negative evaluation of the STA because it promoted managed trade
and a global cartel. The press then explained why Japan agreed to the STA although
the agreement was something the U.S. wanted but Japan did not.
In the U.S. press, whether or not there was a commonly shared framework
(or policy assumptions) is not clear, partly because most U.S. articles included only
objective accounts of the issues without expressing views. U.S. press coverage
included fewer comments or arguments than Japanese press coverage. The U.S.
press was more informed of various facts regarding the provisions and each
analytical comments focused on various issues and was different from each other.
There was no indication that the reporters shared the same assumptions and were
inclined to be partial to the U.S. government.
Except for the two articles that explicitly expressed views, U.S. press
coverage presented the case of the STA in a descriptive manner, free from judgment
or blame. The relatively neutral accounts and the lack of partial opinions in the U.S.
press contrasted strikingly with the engaged coverage by the Japanese press. The
following chapter seeks to identify the factors that account for these differences.
58


CHAPTER FOUR
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
Introduction
Substantial differences were found between the United States and Japan in
the press coverage of the ST A. The general tone of the coverage was "removed" in
the U.S. newspapers and highly "engaged" in the Japanese newspapers. As for
views and analysis on specific themes, the U.S. press presented varied but neutral
views, while the Japanese press expressed relatively uniform views revealing a
shared framework.
This chapter discusses what factors contributed to these differences. The
first section briefly summarizes how the press in both country generally treated the
news differently. The second section then examines what factors contributed to the
differences found in this study. The factors are in the main divided in two
categories: those specific to the case at hand and those related to inherent
differences between the U.S. and Japan. The latter category includes: the
respective international positions of the two countries, and cultural and institutional
differences between the two nations and between the U.S. and Japanese press.
Finally, this chapter concludes with the discussion of the significance of the study.
59


How the News Was Treated Differentially
While various analytical comments were made, the U.S. press generally
remained a neutral observer in their analysis of the situation.12 The analyses in the
U.S. press, whose focus was varied with each other, tended to be impartial. The
general approach was not to take sides and to present the STA in a descriptive
manner. They tended to neutrally describe various aspects of the STA and the
positive reaction of the industry instead of closely following the contentious
negotiation process.13
With the exception of a few articles, in which the writer was critical of the
U.S. government, the U.S. press did not make any arguments, either for or against
the STA. Neither editorials nor opinions appeared in the U.S. press. The limited
engagement of the news suggests that the U.S. press treated the news not so much
as a case of a U.S.-Japan trade dispute, but as a case of routine business news.
In contrast, the Japanese press reported the event as major international
news. The Japanese press expressed their own views in a greater number of
opinion/analysis articles. These views were relatively uniform and partial.
Analytical comments were generally negative about the STA, as they invariably
defined it as an example of managed trade and, as such, going against free-trade
12 However, the U.S. press occasionally carried a critical account of its own government or was
sympathetic to the Japanese (Washington Post May 9,1991, B9; Wall Street Journal May 20,
1991, A18).
13 Although U.S. press coverage focused on a variety of issues, it did not tell the whole story.
Without noting either the negative reactions by the Japanese industry (except in the Wall Street
Joumali or Japan's widespread concern for future conflicts resulting from misunderstandings, the
U.S. press conveyed to the readers the impression that the STA would be implemented smoothly,
which was not the case.
60


principles. Japanese press coverage failed to give equal attention to each provision
of the STA. The focus of the analysis articles was largely placed on the market
share provision and hardly any coverage was provided on anti-dumping measures.
Also, while it provided an extensive industry background, Japanese press
coverage did not address the issue of often-criticized Japanese trade practices.
Apparently, the Japanese press shared the consistent claim of the Japanese
government that the door to the Japanese market was open and that Japan was not at
fault. They tended to point out that the solution lay in improving the
competitiveness of U.S. manufactures rather than in enforcing the STA. In short,
these findings suggest that Japanese reporters reflected the position of the Japanese
government concerning the trade conflict with the United States and framed the
STA based on that position.
The findings regarding the tendency of the Japanese press to blame the
U.S., by frequently referring to "competitiveness" in their analysis, replicate the
pattern in 1986 observed by FukuShima (1992). A similar inclination to blame the
lack of American competitiveness for the problems was also found in the Budner's
study (1993) on the trade negotiations in 1989 and 1990. Budner (19) stated that
regardless of the issue at hand, the Japanese press seemed to portray the United
States as the one at fault. This study of the STA supports his hypothesis.
As for U.S. press coverage, the findings were significantly different from
those in the previous cases; U.S. press coverage of the 1991 STA displayed no
inclination to blame Japan. Hardly any blame was ascribed to Japanese trade
practices. In Budner's (1993,23) study, however, both the U.S. and Japanese
presses indicated a tendency to picture the other country negatively and to blame
61


each other. Similarly, Fukushima (1992) observed that the U.S. press expressed
critical views on the Japanese trade patterns during the 1985-1986 negotiations of
semiconductor trade. Terms such as "unfair trade practices that had appeared in
the past, however, were rarely used by the reporters in this study even though the
U.S. government officials continued to mention them. The U.S. press in 1991 did
not even rehash the side-letter controversy, which offered perfect material to attack
Japan with the charge of unfulfilled commitment.
Factors Contributing to Differences
Detached vs. Engaged
The different reactions (generally detached coverage by the U.S. press and
generally engaged coverage of the Japanese press) can be explained by the attributes
of the specific case at hand as well as by the different respective international
positions of the two nations.
The Attributes of the Specific Case at Hand. This study has found that
U.S. press coverage of the 1991 STA was "detached," unlike the past patterns,
while Japanese press coverage was as engaged as in the previous cases. The
difference in the degree of engagement and in the tone of press coverage between
the U.S. and Japanese press can be seen as reflecting a difference in the element of
conflict involved in the STA, as perceived by each press. Many international events
involve a conflict or crisis situation when they make news. Studies show that
whether or not the news includes the element of conflict affects the newsworthiness
of the situation; the more controversial or unpleasant the situation is, the more
62


newsworthy the news becomes (Mowlana 1984,88). This argument may explain
some of the above-mentioned differences in the press coverage of the STA between
the United States and Japan. To put Mowlana's statement into the context of the
press coverage of the STA, the more controversial and the higher the stakes, the
more engaged the press coverage becomes and the more opinion articles will be
written.
For the United States, the stakes were not so high. The STA was an act
which was directed at Japanese companies, and the United States was the. enforcer.
Apparently, the STA was interpreted by the U.S. press as an agreement simply to
increase the business prospects of the semiconductor and related industries.
Conflict factors seem also to explain why the 1991 press coverage was
more neutral and detached than the 1986 press coverage. For the United States,
there were fewer sources of conflict with Japan in 1991 than in 1986 when the
original STA was concluded. In 1986, the situation involved the crisis of the U.S.
semiconductor industry which was losing the market to the Japanese counterpart.
The Reagan Administration thus had put the highest priority in solving
semiconductor trade friction. By 1991, however, the Japanese trade pattern had
changed for the better; exports to Japan were gradually picking up. Moreover,
there was no more dumping of semiconductors on which to base the charge of
unfair practices. The U.S. government, as well as the industry, thought that the
1986 STA had finally began to take effect. In the absence of a conflictual situation
for the United States in 1991, as there had been in 1986, the news of the STA may
not have been as newsworthy as it would have been otherwise. Reflecting the actual
situation at hand, the news of the renewal was presented less dramatically by the
63


U.S. press. An additional factor might have been the fact that the 1991 STA was
just a "renewal." The U.S. press might have expected the STA to be renewed.
In contrast, the Japanese press described the semiconductor trade conflict as
symbol of U.S.-Japan trade friction. The press accounts suggest that the Japanese
press perceived the news not as an independent case, but as one of a series of trade
agreements in high-tech industry. They explained that any "market share
agreement" on semiconductors could affect the entire range of industries. To the
Japanese press' understanding, the STA represented a conflict with much higher
stakes than for the United States. Thus, the news was more controversial and more
newsworthy for the Japanese press than for the U.S. press.
The STA involved several significant elements of conflict for the Japanese.
First of all, the STA required Japan to make efforts to increase the foreign share of
the semiconductor trade to a level which had never been attained before. The STA,
therefore, meant a conflict with vested interests in Japan, since Japanese companies
were obliged to change their business patterns.
In addition, while the U.S. press might have regarded the STA as just a
"renewal," the Japanese press apparently did not see it that way. The stakes were
as high in 1991 as in 1986 for Japan for at least three reasons. First, unlike the
1986 STA, in which the market share was only mentioned in an unsigned side-letter
to the agreement, the 1991 STA, with specific mention of the market share in its
provisions, was thought to have stronger enforcement provisions than 1986 STA.
Second, Japan was in fact in a "lose-lose" situation. On one hand, the
Japanese government did not want to and did not intend to renew the 1986 STA.
There was concern about retaliation against Japan for not meeting the market share
64


goal required by the STA. On the other hand, the Japanese government was facing
the situation in which, without renewing the STA and in the absence of increased
U.S. exports, Japan would have been retaliated against anyway for unfair trade
practices according to the U.S. trade law. Third, the fact that the Japanese
government's initial position was not to renew the STA probably added to the
newsworthiness. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Japanese press reacted
with emotion to the fact that the intention of the United States to renew the STA
prevailed. Japanese press coverage implied a sense of frustration at the one-sided
approach by the U.S. government.
The Respective International Positions. The Japanese press thought the
stakes were all the more high because they were worried about the implications of
the STA for future conflicts. The Japanese press tended to associate the vague
provisions of the STA with possible future conflicts and to worry that such
conflicts would harm broader bilateral relations. The Japanese press interpreted the
STA as if the future of broad U.S.-Japan relations hinged upon the STA. The
Japanese press' frame of reference on the STA went well beyond the issue of
semiconductor trade itself. This anticipation of conflict with the United States also
seems to help explain why the STA was treated not as a case of routine business
conflict but as a case of international conflict and why the Japanese press was so
engaged.
This finding is generally in line with Budner's proposition (1993,17) that
there is an inherent attitude of the Japanese press to see any conflict as part of the
whole relationship and that "the modal arguments in Japanese coverage tended to
stress the importance of the United States-Japan relationship." In contrast, no
65


U.S. articles included an analysis that linked the STA to the broad U.S.-Japan
relationship or to future conflicts. The frame of reference of the U.S. press was
limited to the issue of semiconductor trade per se.
These differences in the frame of reference, which contributed to the
different reaction of the press, may be ascribed to the respective international
positions of the United States and Japan. As the frequent and almost automatic
association of a specific issue (the STA) to a broader diplomatic issue suggests, the
Japanese press and the Japanese government, were keenly aware of Japan being a
subordinate partner in a most vital relationship with the United States. There
seems to be a shared sense of vulnerability among the Japanese officials and the
press since Japan relies upon the United States not only for its exports, but also for
its national security.
As a result, Japanese press coverage of friction with the United States never
fails to be highly newsworthy almost always takes precedence over other
international news in the Japanese press (Ando 1991). Thus press coverage of
U.S.-Japan trade is often accompanied by editorials and opinion articles.
In the U.S. press, the reverse does not seem to be the case; the U.S. press
does not seem to be preoccupied with Japan issues. The United States is generally
engaged in numerous foreign policy conflicts and Japan is not the only country with
which the United States has a vital interest. Reporters assigned to cover Japan are
usually assigned to other East Asian countries simultaneously. Furthermore,
economic issues themselves are generally given a low priority by the U.S. press.
Therefore, for Japan-related news to become more newsworthy, additional
factors such as a greater sense of conflict or higher stakes than were felt in the case
66


of the STA seem to be necessary. If an issue poses an imminent threat to the U.S.
national interest, it would certainly increase the sense of conflict. U.S. press
coverage of the purchases of Columbia Pictures and Rockefeller Center by the
Japanese corporations, or the joint development of the FSX fighter plane may be
regarded as such examples. In these cases, a widespread concern, resulting from
the sense of threat, seems to have contributed to engaging the public and increasing
the level of their interest in these issues. Press coverage is said to reflect the
interests and preferences of the audience due to the press' commercial nature
(Soesilo and Wasbum 1994,379). In order to increase the size of audience, the
press is likely to cover at greater length the topics in which the public is interested.
Reflecting the interest of the public, U.S. press coverage of these cases was more
engaged and included a number of editorials and opinions (Budner 1993). The
public's familiarity with Columbia Pictures and Rockefeller Center seems to have
reinforced the sense of threat. Perhaps it was more of a symbolic threat than a
substantial threat. It is likely that these events were all the more newsworthy
because they were symbolic issues of the trend in the late 1980s.
Although the Japanese semiconductor trade had posed a serious threat to the
U.S. industry, perception of the threat was apparently limited to the industry and
the U.S. government officials and was not conveyed to the general public. The
STA did not attract the attention of the public partly because of the unfamiliarity of
the issue, even though the U.S. government regarded the STA as a highly
important guidepost for future agreements (cf. Chapter Two). Additionally, the
low level of interest by the press as well as the public seems to suggest that there is
another factor affecting the U.S. press' engagement: the political environment.
67


Political heat surrounding U.S.-Japan relations had cooled down substantially since
the mid-to late 1980s.
Uniformity vs. Diversity in Press Accounts
The examination of the Japanese press accounts suggests the existence of a
frame of reference shared by most Japanese reporters that was at the heart of all the
views expressed. They tended to frame the issues at hand in a similar manner. The
press generally gave a negative evaluation of the STA because it promoted managed
trade. The press then explained why Japan agreed to the STA, although the
agreement was something the U.S. wanted but Japan did not. In the U.S. press,
there was no indication that the reporters shared the same assumptions. The
reporters' approach to the issues at hand varied from one another. Apparently there
was no commonly shared framework underlying the STA. Each analytical
comment focused on various issues and was different from each other. Unlike
U.S. press coverage on military affairs, there was no indication of "chauvinistic
framing" (Graber 1993, 383).
The following section discusses what factors contributed to these
differences. I argue that these differences are not necessarily unique to the STA but
are commonly observed in press coverage of other U.S.-Japan trade issues, and
that the differences are systematic, deriving from different cultural and institutional
systems.
Cultural Factors. The similarity of views expressed in the Japanese press
can be attributed to the Japanese culture, in which people, especially the elite
(including the government officials and the press journalists), generally espouse
68


similar worldviews. To have a common view or similar fixed ideas seems to be
especially the case when it comes to trade policy. In many respects, Japanese
press coverage on trade with the United States seems to share similar characteristics
with American press coverage on military affairs. According to Graber (1993):
U.S. press coverage on military affairs is predominantly
written from pro-American, Cold War perspective in which any
country is classified as either friend or foe (393).
In foreign news coverage, stories tend to be written from an
American perspective that reflect the current administration's foreign
policy assumptions and the American public's stereotyped views of
the world (396).
Just as any military affairs are instantly associated with U.S. national
interests in the U.S. press, any trade issues seem automatically to be associated
with Japan's national interest in the Japanese press. When the news is
conceptualized as largely a conflict between the two nations, as in the case of
Japanese press coverage of the ST A, one-sided argument following the
govemment's/administration's position seems likely to dominate the coverage. In
fact, the Japanese articles on the STA were written predominantly from a pro-
Japanese point of view. Apparently, Japanese press coverage presented uniform
views reflecting the trade policy assumptions of their government and stereotyped
views of the United States prevailed in Japan.
Another factor contributing to the relative uniformity of views in Japanese
press coverage seems to be a sense of pride in Japanese business widely shared by
the Japanese public. As discussed in Chapter Three, one of the common features in
the Japanese accounts was the tendency of the Japanese press to frame the STA as a
matter of competitiveness. This tendency seems to be rooted in the fact that the
69


Japanese people, particularly the elite, are as one in holding a strong sense of pride
in Japan's economic power. Thus, to a certain degree, for the Japanese press to
talk about competitiveness was not only reflecting the government position but also
expressing their own feelings about the strength of Japan.
A shared sense of pride seems to explain why, in 1991, the Japanese press
pointed out the U.S. lack of competitiveness as the cause of trade friction just as
they did in 1986. Moreover, because such pride tends to give rise to a sense of
"our" industry, Japanese press coverage of the STA conveyed the impression that
the country was as one in defense of the Japanese interests. Since the sense of
pride in their economy is unlikely to diminish in the near future, the Japanese press
coverage of trade will probably continue to boast about the competitiveness of the
Japanese industries.
U.S. press coverage on trade policy focused on more various issues and
included more divergent opinions. The press accounts tended to be free from
stereotyping or patterned arguments written from an American perspective, which
suggests that there were no widely shared trade policy assumptions within the U.S.
government regarding the STA. This is not surprising. In the absence of
predominant policy assumptions in the area of trade, press coverage of trade policy
is likely to be diverse, reflecting the actual perspectives of journalists themselves.
In this sense, the nature of foreign "economic" news coverage seems to be
different from that of press coverage on other foreign policy including military
affairs in that the former is less bound by stereotyped views of the world or the
administration's policy assumptions. Moreover, the U.S. press has traditionally
70


been distrustful of the government as well as of business and, thus, less likely to
toe the official line, if there is any, than is the Japanese press.
Another factor that contributed to the diverse coverage seems to be the fact
that in the United States, there seems to be less of a sense of "our" American
industry among journalists. Japanese journalists tend to argue in a uniform way,
especially when it comes to economic issues, because of their shared pride in
Japanese industry. This is not the case with the United States. American journalists
are less likely to argue in support of U.S. industries simply because they are
"American." Therefore, it seems rather natural for American reporters to take an
independent position regarding trade issues.14
Institutional Factors: the Press and the Government. The relatively uniform
accounts in the Japanese articles can also be attributed in part to an institutional
factor: the relationship between the press and the government.15 The similarity of
the arguments and the views expressed regarding managed trade, business
cooperation, and concern for future conflicts implies the use of the same source: the
reporters' clubs. According to Ellis Krauss (1993a, 36), there are reporters' clubs
in all the major ministries of the Japanese government and the reporters from the
national newspapers who are assigned to each ministry operate in the context of
14 However, in the U.S. press, there may be an increasing attitudinal homogeneity. It has been
claimed that American reporters tend to share similar perspectives on economic issues, especially
in elite newspaper organizations. Byron L. Dorgan (1994) states that U.S. press coverage is
losing balance as more and more journalists are coming from a similar background and their
articles tend to make one-sided arguments (i.e. for free-trade) reflecting their shared values.
15 Karel van Wolferen (1990,42-3) states, "Japanese editors themselves are part of this informal
political structure, and where issues cut too close to the interests of the Japanese sociopolitical
elite, the news media are not sufficiently independent to offer a variety of views."
71


such clubs. Among the most important consequences of reporters' clubs, Krauss
states, is the dependency of the reporter on his official sources (ministry officials).
While there is merit in being able to collect detailed information under this system,
there is also the consequence of getting tied-up at the club without having the time
to seek outside sources to contradict official sources.
The reporter's close relationship with MITI officials developed through the
reporters' clubs clearly affected the formation of uniform views within the Japanese
press. The Japanese press accounts suggest that Mi l l's strong feelings toward the
STA -how one-sidedly the STA requires obligations to Japan-along with the
significance Mm attached to the STA, were conveyed to the reporters.
Mm officials had said early in 1991 that it was against the renewal because
they felt that the provision of the 1986 STA regarding the market share had been
"abused" by the U.S. government (Nikkei Sangvo April 2,1991). Annoyed by
the consistent U.S. pressure on the Japanese government to increase U.S. market
share, coupled with the imposition of the trade sanctions, Mill had been reacting to
the 1986 STA with increasing frustration (Kuroda 1989). Mil l also believed that
the vague provisions concerning the market share would likely cause yet another
dispute between the two nations. Sharing Mil l's frustration, the Japanese press
reacted to the STA with a stronger sense of commitment to the issue in comparison
to the U.S. press, just as the Mm officials did.
The findings also suggest that the press interpreted the implications of the
STA based on the information and perspectives provided by Mi l l. The views and
opinions expressed in the Japanese articles in fact mirrored those of Mil l officials.
Mm characterized the STA as a managed trade agreement because of the market
72


share target, which they argued was contrary to the principles of free trade policy
and contrary to the provisions of GATT. MITI's preoccupation with the term,
"managed trade," was reflected in Japanese press coverage. The term "managed
trade" appeared far more frequently in Japanese press coverage than in U.S. press
coverage. As detailed in Chapter Three, Japanese journalists argued against the
managed trade approach, following the official line of the Japanese government; the
press argued that managed trade as practiced in the STA was deplorable because it
promoted a global cartel.
Another example of the press advocating Mi l l's position was the frequent
accounts of business cooperation which had been taking place between the United
States and Japan. Again, the Japanese articles shared the perspective of Japanese
government officials that increasing joint ventures was a better approach than
setting an import target through the STA. The Japanese press argued that
technological cooperation was a more practical and quicker way to solve U.S.-
Japan semiconductor trade friction. The Japanese articles tended to make much of
Japanese companies' efforts to increase technological cooperation to satisfy the
United States.
While fundamentally adopting the assumptions of MTTI and defining the
issue from Mills point of view, however, the Japanese press was not completely
supportive of the position of the Japanese government. The press accounts
suggest that the Japanese press was more critical of the contents of the STA than
Japanese government officials were. At least in public, MITI praised the final foim
of the STA, just as the U.S. government and industry officials did. The Japanese
press, on the other hand, never explicitly supported the STA. Rather, the
73


Japanese press generally regretted that the negotiations ended the way they did,
with Japan's compromise "in return for maintaining good relations" (Nikkei May
13,1991; Nikkei June 6,1991).
The conciliatory attitude of the Japanese government as opposed to the press
may be understood, however, by considering the utmost priority the Japanese
officials place on maintaining the good relationship. They were keenly aware of the
vulnerability of Japan in light of its reliance on the U.S. market. After all, the
Japanese press is less constrained by diplomatic obligations than the Japanese
government and was situated to express views critical of the final form of the ST A
more freely. Although there was some blame placed on the U.S., there was never
an explicit protest statement (something resembling "U.S. bashing") against the
U.S. approach to the STA. Rather, criticism was expressed as frustration over
the one-sided nature of the provisions and as concerns for the possible implications
of the STA. The press accounts suggest the reporters shared the notion that the
STA was inevitable, though unfortunate, because of Japan's international position
vis-a-vis the U.S.
The wide range of subjects being covered and the various views contained
in U.S. press coverage can also be attributed to an institutional factor: the
circumstances under which American reporters work. According to Krauss
(1993a, 35), American reporters maintain wide-ranging relationships with their
sources which include those outside of government. Without getting caught up
with the relationship with the government officials, U.S. reporters are encouraged
to go to various sources. Consequently, more diverse interpretations emerge from
various sources. One example of diverse sources can be seen in the accounts


regarding managed trade: the U.S. accounts were not in agreement on whether the
agreement had free-trade or managed trade implications. The Bush administration
had denied that the STA pursued the managed trade approach and was not inclined
to use the term. Some articles followed this position and did not use the term
managed trade. But some articles interpreted the STA in a similar manner as the
Japanese press by referring to the STA as a "dreadful experiment in managed trade"
and as an example of "high-tech protectionism" (Wall Street Journal May 20,1991,
A18).
Besides the various sources upon which American reporters rely, the fact
that the U.S. government itself is not a monolith institution also contributes to the
diversity of views in press coverage. In foreign economic policy, there is no
single official line nor authority that the press could follow. Foreign economic
policy, especially trade policy with Japan, often involves a situation where the
executive branch and Congress tend to be divided on the issue because of their
different interests. The president makes a decision based on overall national
interests, while members of Congress tend to do so largely based on their own local
interests. Accordingly, while the executive branch generally supports and adheres
to free trade principles, Congress is a rather reluctant supporter of free trade and
occasionally leans towards protectionist policies. In these circumstances, reporters
who cover trade policy are likely encounter various points of views that exist within
the government.
The STA represented a typical example of such division within the U.S.
government. Deputy Trade Representative Linn Williams described the 1991 STA
as "a careful balancing of conflicting interests not only between the U.S. and Japan,
75


but also among different U.S. policy makers and between the U.S. semiconductor
and computer industries" (Wall Street Journal June 5,1991, A2). Not every aspect
of the STA agreed with the free-trade principles which the U.S. government
endorsed. The Bush Administration was also reported to have been reluctant to
renew the STA until the Gulf War reminded the President of the importance of
semiconductors in national security (Christian Science Monitor June 6,1991,4).
As the anti-Japanese mood in Congress escalated following the Gulf War, the
administration was reported to have yielded to the pressure by Congress and the
SIA to renew the STA (Nikkei May 13,1991, Evening). Thus, the diversity of
views within the government may also explain why U.S. press coverage is more
varied than Japanese press coverage.
Additionally, the inclusion of a variety of views in the U.S. press could also
be attributed to the dateline-where the article was written-- as well as to
contributions of non-staff writers. Even when the STA-related articles were printed
on the same date, their dateline varied. Under the circumstances, each writer
probably had to use different sources. In contrast, the Japanese articles from
different newspapers had the same dateline. The fact that Japanese writers from
different newspapers were in a close proximity while covering the news can also be
assumed to have contributed to the similar accounts in the Japanese newspapers.
Conclusion
The news of the renewal of the STA was treated as a "major conflict" by the
Japanese press and as relatively "routine business by the U.S. press. These
differences were attributed to the specific stakes at hand and to the respective
76


international positions of the U.S. and Japan. The Japanese press perceived the
stakes involved in the STA as so high that they treated the news as a major conflict.
In addition, the STA received major press coverage in Japan because it was related
to the U.S. In contrast, U.S. press coverage was limited since the stakes were not
high for the U.S.; the STA was a renewal and there was less conflict involved in it.
Moreover, news related to Japan does not automatically become a major story in the
U.S. press. Thus, the news was treated as low-profile and as routine business
news. The point-by-point comparison indicated that Japanese press coverage
expressed relatively uniform views and shared a similar frame of reference while
U.S. press coverage was free from fixed views and varied in terms of its extent and
framing. These differences between American and Japanese press coverage were
ascribed to systematic differences, including institutional and cultural systems in
each country.
These reactions of the U.S. press suggest that in covering the STA,
American reporters generally enjoyed autonomy from the government. The issue
of trade with Japan was perceived in various ways reflecting reporters' own points
of view. The conditions contributing to the U.S. press' autonomy are both
cultural, i.e., lack of dominating assumptions within the U.S. government as well
as among the general public with respect to the issue being covered, and
institutional, i.e., use of various sources. American reporters tend not to share a
homogeneous perspective on trade policy as Americans. In addition, the fact that in
the absence of a crisis situation, reporters are not so dependent on government
officials as sources also contribute to the diversity of press accounts. These two
major factors are intertwined and enforce each other to contribute to increasing U.S.
77


press autonomy. This study thus indicates that U.S. press coverage is
systematically more diverse than Japanese press coverage.
Additionally, the findings also suggests that trade policy coverage in the
United States may be inherently different from military affairs coverage, which is
said to be invariably pro-American (see Chapter One). There are possibly two
reasons for this difference. First, news information about foreign affairs is often so
tightly controlled, that reporters may have to rely on government sources.
Information relating to a trade agreement is more readily available. Second,
reporters are more likely to share the foreign policy assumptions of the U.S.
government, especially when the issues being covered relate to Communist
countries or the Middle East. Most of the past studies focused on press coverage
of the issues related to these countries.
One of the purposes of this study was to explore the degree of the media's
contribution to the creation of the negative images of the United States in Japan and
of Japan in the United States. This study indicates some evidence of negativism in
Japanese press coverage and virtually none in American press coverage. These
findings parallel those in the previous studies regarding the Japanese press, but
were substantially different regarding the U.S. press.
In contrast to the past findings, the U.S. press was relatively free from
negative accounts of Japan, and there was no indication of chauvinism or
partisanship. U.S. press coverage included no blame of Japan, not even of its trade
practices. As mentioned earlier, such neutral coverage of the STA is attributed to
the specific attributes of the case, namely, relatively low stakes involved in the
78


STA. However, it may also be ascribed to a relatively low interest in the issue by
the press.
The difference between 1986 and 1991 suggests that the level of
engagement by the U.S. press may also be determined by the political environment.
Trade-related news seems to gain in importance and newsworthiness depending in
part on the politics of the issue. Once an economic issue gets politicized to a degree
where it has caught the attention of a large segment of the public, routine business
news including trade policy may become partisan. In this sense, the fact that in the
mid- and late 1980s, the issue of semiconductor trade with Japan was exceedingly
politicized along with other trade disputes should be noted. The political heat
surrounding U.S.-Japan relations had subsided by 1991.
Therefore, how much of the objectivity observed in this study was due to a
genuine objectivity of the U.S. press, and how much was due to a limited
engagement of the U.S. press (U.S. treatment of the STA as a case of routine
business news) is difficult to determine based solely on this study. A fair judgment
is especially difficult since the U.S. articles did not include editorials and opinion
pieces, where critical views are likely to be expressed. Accordingly, further
research should be conducted to compare U.S.-Japanese press coverage on a more
"politically" high-profile case to see whether U.S. press coverage maintains
objectivity.
Concerning Japanese press coverage, relatively uniform views are in part
attributed to attitudinal homogeneity. In this study, Japanese reporters appear to
have shared the same perspectives on trade policy among themselves as well as
with the government officials and the general public. In addition, perhaps more
79


importantly, similarity of press coverage may also be attributed to the fact that
Japanese reporters tend to share the same official news sources and follow the
official line. The press' close-knit relationship with the government, especially with
ministry officials, is one of the key determinants of how the press framed the news
in a similar fashion in regard to the STA in 1991. In this sense, Japanese press
coverage is constrained by institutional factors to a greater degree than American
press coverage.
This study generally supports the view as presented by Budner (1993,19)
and others in that Japanese press coverage reflects the position of the Japanese
government. The Japanese press in general presented the case as it was
understood by the Japanese government officials. According to Clyde V.
Prestowitz, Jr.(1988,144-45), former Deputy Commerce Secretary and President
of the Economic Strategy Institute, "the Japanese press is not noted for investigative
reporting, and the ministries are often able to use the press as a way of molding
public consensus....Their job is to create the national consensus for the measures
the various ministries propose." As if to support his view, in the case of the
STA, the Japanese press interpreted the implications of the STA as the Japanese
government did and shared the concern of the Japanese government in renewing the
"problematic" agreement. The Japanese press seems to have expressed the
following consensus: the Japanese industry has done what could be done since
1986 and thus, the United States is asking Japan to achieve something beyond its
control in 1991.
It is not apparent, however, to what degree the Japanese press is used by
the ministries and/or constrained by the system. On the contrary, as stated earlier,
80


while basically reflecting the position of the Japanese government and accepting
their assumptions, the Japanese press occasionally expressed their own views and
even became critical of the Japanese government's handling of the case.
Specifically, they expressed regret over the compromise the government made in
accepting what many regarded as a managed trade approach. The Japanese press
implied that the Japanese government had been too conciliatory toward the United
States. Their comments and arguments were in sharp contrast to the satisfaction
(with the results of the negotiations) expressed in public by the Japanese officials,
who not so long ago were also opposed to such an agreement. Hence, this study
evidences another aspect of Japanese press: having an independent voice.
According to Hiroshi Ando (1991), a former foreign correspondent for
Asahi. the critical attitude of the Japanese press toward Mi l l's foreign policy is not
unusual. Ando (157) states that the Japanese press has traditionally criticized the
Japanese governments practice of kowtowing to the U.S. government in
diplomacy, while ironically putting a disproportionate amount of focus on U.S.
news.
If this is also the case, what is the extent of the Japanese press'
independence? In what situations does the Japanese press become less diplomatic
and become critical of its government? Or rather, is there a tendency of the
Japanese government to let the press do the tough talking while MTTI itself puts on
a friendly face to an important trade partner? These are the important questions for
us to examine to further understand the features of Japanese press coverage. Now
that the Japanese political configuration has been through a historical change, it is
81


all the more important to reassess the Japanese press' relationship with the
government as well as the level of independence of Japanese journalists.
82


LIST OF REFERENCES
Ando, Hiroshi. 1991. Nichibei Jouhou Masatsu. [U.S.-Japan information friction].
Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Amo, Andrew. 1984a. Communication, conflict, and storylines: The news media
as actors in a cultural context. In The news media in national and
international conflict, ed. Andrew Amo and Wimal Dissanayake, 1-16.
Boulder: Westview Press.
______________. 1984b. The news media as third parties in national and international
conflict: Duobus litigantibus tertius gaudet. In The news media in national
and international conflict, ed. Andrew Amo and Wimal Dissanayake, 229-
238. Boulder: Westview Press.
Amo, Andrew and Wimal Dissanayake. ed. 1984. The news media in national and
international conflict. Boulder: Westview Press.
Asahi Shimbun.
Balter, Michael. 1993. Does anyone get GATT? Columbia Journalism Review 32
(May-June): 46-49.
Bergsten, C. Fred and Marcus Noland. 1993. Reconcilable difference?: U.S.-Japan
economic conflict. Washington D. C.: Institute for International Economics.
Berry, Nicholas O. Foreign policy and the press: An analysis of the New York
Times' coverage of U.S. foreign policy. New York, NY: Greenwood
Press.
Budner, Stanley. 1993. United States and Japanese newspaper coverage of friction
between the two countries. In Communicating Across the Pacific.
Missoula: The Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs.
Christian Science Monitor.
Destler, I.M. 1992. American trade politics. 2nd ed. Washington, D. C.: Institute
for International Economics.
Dorgan, Byron L. 1994. The NAFTA debate that never was. Columbia Journalism
Review 33 (January/February): 47-49.
Flamm, Kenneth. 1991. Making new rules: High-tech trade friction and the
semiconductor industry. The Brookings Review 9 (Spring): 22-29.
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Fukushima, Glen S. 1992. Nichibei Keizai Masatsu no Seijigaku. [Politics of
U.S.-Japan economic friction]. Tokyo: Asahi Shimbunsha.
Graber, Doris A. 1993. Mass media and American politics. 4th ed. Washington,
D.C.: CQ Press.
Holsti, Ole R. 1969. Content analysis for the social science and humanities.
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
Krauss, Ellis S. 1993a. Going under coverage: Newspaper structure in the United
States and Japan. In Communicating Across the Pacific. Missoula: The
Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs.
______________. 1993b. U.S.-Japan negotiations on construction and
semiconductors 1983-1988: Building friction and relation-chips. In Double-
edged diplomacy: International bargaining and domestic politics, ed. Peter
B. Evans, Harold K. Jacobson, and Robert Putnam, 265-299. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
Kuroda, Makoto. 1989. Nichibei Kankei no Kangaekata. [An approach to U.S.-
Japan relations]. Tokyo: Yuhikaku.
Matsui, Mikio. 1993. Nichibei Handotai Kvoutei to Suchi Mokuhvou. [The
Semiconductor Trade Agreement and numerical targets]. Kousei Torihiki
515 (September): 15-20
Milner, Helen V. 1990. The political economy of U.S. trade policy: A study of the
Super 301 provision. In Aggressive Unilateralism: America's 301 trade
policy and the world trading system, ed. Jagdish Bhagwati and Hugh T.
Patrick, 163-180. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Miyasato, Seigen. 1990. Nichibei Kouzou Masatsu no Kenkvu. [ A study of U.S.-
Japan structural friction], Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha.
Mowlana, Hamid. 1984. The role of the media in the U.S.-Iranian conflict. In The
news media in national and international conflict, ed. Andrew Amo and
Wimal Dissanayake, 71-100. Boulder: Westview Press.
Nacos, Brigitte Lebens. 1990. The press, presidents, and crises. New York:
Columbia University Press.
Okimoto, Daniel I. 1989. Between MITI and the market: Japanese industrial policy
for high technology. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
The New York Times.
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Nikkei. (Nihon Keizai Shimbun)
Nikkei Sangvo Shimbun.
Prestowitz, Jr., Clyde V. 1988. Trading places: How we allowed Japan to take the
lead. New York: Basic Books.
Servaes, Jan. 1991. European press coverage of the Grenada crisis. Journal of
Communication 41 (August): 28-41.
Soderlund, Walter C. 1990. A comparison of press coverage in Canada and the
United States of the 1982 and 1984 Salvadoran elections. Canadian Journal
of Political Science 23 (March): 59-72.
Soesilo, Arie S. and Philo C. Wasbum. 1994. Constructing a political spectacle:
American and Indonesian media accounts of the "crisis in the Gulf'. The
Sociological Quarterly 35 (May): 367-381.
Stevenson, Robert L. and Donald Lewis Shaw. ed. 1984. Foreign news and the
new world information order. Ames: The Iowa State University Press.
Tyson, Laura D'Andrea. 1993. Who's bashing whom?: Trade conflict in high-
technology industries. Washington, D.C.: Institute for International
Economics.
van Dijk, Teun A. 1988. News analysis: Case studies of international and national
news in the press. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Publishers.
van Wolferen, Karel. 1990. The Japan problem revisited. Foreign Affairs 69 (Fall):
42-55.
Wall Street Journal.
Washington Post.
Yomiuri Shimbun.
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Full Text

PAGE 1

A COMPARISON OF U.S.-JAPANESE PRESS COVERAGE OF THE SEMICONDUCTOR TRADE AGREEMENT OF 1991 by Akiko Kashiwagi B.A., Sophia University, 1989 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Political Science 1995 gg

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Akiko Kashiwagi has been approved for the Graduate School by Date

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Kashiwagi, Akiko (M.A., Political Science) A Comparison of U .S.-Japan Press Coverage of the Semiconductor Trade Agreement of 1991 Thesis directed by Professor J ana Everett ABSTRACf The Semiconductor Trade Agreement of 1991 (STA) is considered to be one of the most contentious and politically charged trade agreements between U.S. and Japan to date. This study compares the press reactions to the renewal of the STAin the United States and Japan to examine whether or not different government interpretations were reflected in the coverage and what factors shaped any differences in the press coverage. The data were collected from a nearly matched sample of American and Japanese newspapers during the two-month period prior to the conclusion ofthe negotiations on June 5, 1991. The study suggests that the ST A was presented in conflictual tenns by the Japanese press and as relatively routine business news by the U.S. press. The Japanese press was so engaged that quite a few analysis and opinion articles were written, most of which were critical of the STA. In contrast, the U.S. press was detached, and few partisan arguments were made. It remained largely neutral and included no negative accounts of Japan. These differences are attributed to both the actual stakes involved in this case and the respective international positions of the two nations. Moreover, the political environment surrounding the issue of trade with Japan might have affected the level of engagement of the U.S. press. 111

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In regard to substantive arguments in the articles, Japanese press coverage was relatively uniform and shared a similar frame of reference. These Japanese accounts tended to echo the Japanese government's interpretation of the STA. In contrast, U.S. press coverage was free from policy assumptions and stereotyped views of Japan and varied in terms of its framing. These differences are ascribed to systematic differences, including institutional practices and cultural factors. The U.S. press is more likely to offer varied and independent views than the Japanese press, being less constrained by culture and institutional arrangements. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. IV

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CONTENTS CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION .................................................. 1 Statement of Purpose....................................... 2 Significance of the Study ................................... 3 Methodology ................................................ 4 Review of Literature........................................ 5 2. THE SEMICONDUCTOR TRADE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND JAPAN ......................................................... 1 7 3. FINDINGS.......................................................... 28 Introduction................................................. 28 General Comparison....................................... 28 Point-by-Point Comparison ............................... 41 Conclusion.................................................. 56 4. DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS .................................... 59 Introduction .................................................. 59 How the News Was Treated Differentially .............. 60 Factors Contributing to Differences...................... 62 Conclusion ................................................... 76 LIST OF REFERENCE .............................................................. 83 v

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CHAPTER ONE :I!'ITRODUCTION Despite a widely shared view that the media plays an influential role in shaping the public's images of a foreign country, there has been a lack of empirical data on this issue. How is the press coverage of a particular issue in one nation different from the press coverage in another nation? How are the differences to be explained? These specific questions regarding press coverage have largely been left unanswered. A lack of data is particularly true concerning comparative analysis of the U.S. and Japanese press. There has been little systematic analysis, for example, of how the press or the media in general has covered the issue of trade friction (Krauss 1993a, 29). The most recent round of trade friction between the United States and Japan has involved the entire range of high-technology sectors. Among other disputes, confrontation over the semiconductor trade, which has existed since the early 1980s, has been the most contentious. The bilateral trade agreement concluded in 1986 did not bring. the conflict to an end. On the contrary, the two nations never agreed on their obligations under that accord, and the tension remained high throughout the agreement's five-year duration. Despite all the controversy and the initial opposition to its renewal by the Japanese semiconductor industry, the Semiconductor Trade Agreement (STA) was renewed in June 1991. 1

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Statement of Pumose The purpose of the study is to compare press reaction in the United States and Japan concerning the renewal of the Semiconductor Trade Agreement (ST A) in 1991. The specific inspiration which triggered this study was a comment by the former deputy U.S. trade representative GlenS. Fukushima (1992) in his book The Politics ofU.S.-Japan Economic Friction. Having observed newspaper accounts in both the United States and Japan during and after the original semiconductor trade negotiations held between 1985 and 1987, Fukushima noted that the focus of U.S. press coverage of the semiconductor trade negotiations was substantially different from the focus of Japanese coverage. He claimed that the U.S. press portrayed the U.S. as addressing Japan's unfair trade policies, whereas the Japanese press, viewing Japan as doing nothing wrong, focused on the lack of competitiveness of U.S. firms. According to Fukushima (1992, 124): About 70 to 80 percent of the U.S. media coverage described the issue [conflict over semiconductors trade] as a matter of Japan's "unfair trade practices" which had long existed and not been resolved. They argued that Japan's government policy that protects specific industries needed to be addressed in order to eliminate dumping and to expand the market access. The Japanese media, on the other hand, almost always described the issue simply as a matter of competitiveness. Contrary to the U.S. claim, the Japanese media argued that Japan had never taken a measure that violates the international trade laws and that the reason for foreign chip makers' inability to penetrate the Japanese market was simply because of Japanese manufactures' competitiveness with the quality, price and services. Taking Fukushima's characterization of the differing press perspectives on the original ST A of 1986 as a point of departure, my study seeks to examine what different views were presented in the American and Japanese press in reaction to the 2

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renewal of the ST A in 1991. Using a content analysis of press coverage in the United States and Japan, I will examine similarities and differences in how each press presented the case of the 1991 STA and will seek to identify the factors shaping those characteristics of press reaction. This study will conclude with a discussion of the conditions for press autonomy and the relationship between the press and the government in each country. Significance of the Study Among experts on the U.S.-Japan relationship, there has been a growing interest in the media's role in shaping negative images of each country. However, the differences in the nature of the press coverage between the United States and Japan rarely have been analyzed systematically through empirical study. According to Ellis Krauss (1993a, 29), the subject is "the least studied aspect of United States Japan friction." Therefore, there is a great need for an in-depth investigation of press coverage as a possible cause of friction. Furthermore, it has been pointed out that American policy makers are less interested in how Japanese papers cover the U.S. news than Japanese policy makers are in how American papers cover news in Japan (Fukushima 1992). Hence, it is my hope that this project will raise interest in press coverage among Americans as well as Japanese by presenting how differently trade news is covered between Japanese newspapers and American newspapers. 3

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Methodology Collection of Data For the purpose of this project, press coverage was studied using a nearly matched sample of American and Japanese newspapers. For quality, influential and well-read newspapers, The New York Times and the Washington Post in the U.S. and The Yomiuri Shimbun ("Yomiuri") and The Asahi Shimbun ("Asahi") in Japan were selected. I also used the Christian Science Monitor and The Japan Times as examples of elite and internationally minded For fmancial papers, I used the Wall Street Journal and The Nihon Keizai Shimbun ("Nikkei"). These papers are widely read by the corporate community and carry more business-related articles than any other newspapers. Scope of the Study The period covered is May and June, 1991. This period was selected because by mid-May, the ST A negotiations were reaching the final stage and the outline of the renewed STA was detennined. The agreement was reached on June 4, 1991. Most of the press coverage on the STA was generated between late May and early June. The size of the sample is unusually small for this type of study, 17 articles for the U.S. and 64 for Japanese newspapers. Though a longer period would be ideal, I believe a two-month period is sufficient for the purpose of this project, which focuses intensively on each press' point of view about the STA renewal. The collected data from the U.S. and Japanese newspapers were found not to be balanced in terms of the volume and type of the press coverage. As for the 4

PAGE 10

U.S. items, most of them were news articles and no editorials were found. In contrast, nearly a quarter of the Japanese items were editorials, feature stories and opinion columns. Those Japanese articles that only reported the negotiation schedules were excluded from the sample. Content Analysis Press coverage was examined using content analysis. Ore R. Holsti (1969, 14) defmes content analysis as "any technique for making references by objectively and systematically identifying specified characteristics of messages." Content analysis of press coverage usually utilizes a large amount of data, which is sorted out into categories that typically include the attributes and key words. While the standard quantitative content analysis as defmed above would have its own merits, interpretive content analysis will be employed because of the exploratory nature of this study. Specifically, instead of merely counting the number of key words in the data, I coded the articles according to various views, interpretations and characterizations of the STA that are explicitly or ini.plicitly apparent in the coverage. This methodology enabled me to analyze the small number of the available articles deeply enough to elucidate the similarities and differences in press' views presented in the coverage. Review of Literature Some recent studies on press coverage have examined whether or not quantitative and qualitative differences exist in the coverage of political events among different nations (Amo and Dissanayake 1984; Stevenson and Shaw 1984; 5

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van Dijk 1988). Questions posed have included: How is press coverage in the First World different fro.in press coverage in Third World countries? How is press coverage in the West different from press coverage in non-Western nations? For these questions, two conflicting hypotheses (one concerning similarities and one concerning differences) have been posited. Similarities One view argues that there is a trend toward growing uniformity. Andrew Arno (1984a, 11), a research associate with the East-West Communication Institute, states, "Being in contact with one another more and more on personal and professional bases, media practitioners come to have similar standards of work (a shared sense of professionalism), ideals, and prejudices." As journalists increasingly share foreign-produced material, national boundaries are disappearing. Comparative studies conducted by van Dijk (1988), Soderlund (1990), and Servaes ( 1991) all found more similarities than differences among press coverage of various countries. Teun A. van Dijk (1988), professor at the University of Amsterdam, who has written extensively on news analysis, systematically compared press coverage of the 1982 assassination of Lebanon's President -elect Bechir Gemayel. Van Dijk found that the thematic as well as structural difference in stories were rather negligible and that the news format (what/ how news categories appear in the coverage) used in stories was similar among the different newspapers in both the First and the Third Worlds. 6

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The results of the global comparison by van Dijk suggest that there was "an implicit system of" rules and values in the news accounts" which were reflected in a "standardized description of the events" (130). However, he allows that the similarities among the newspapers can alternatively be interpreted as the evidence of the heavy reliance of Third World journalists on the First World media. In any event, his fmdings led to his claim that there were globally shared journalistic norms not only among the Western countries but also among the rest of the world. Moreover, he asserts that the Third World press is still dominated by Western information and the Western international news organizations, and this monopoly of information adds to the similarity of the coverage (34). Jan Servaes (1991), professor of International Communication at Catholic University of Nijmegen, compared European press coverage of the American invasion of Grenada in 1983. His assumption was that "non-domestic" news reporting is "influenced by the political, economic, and cultural context as well as by the actual situation being reported" (30). Servaes' fmdings, however, did not support this hypothesis. Despite the differences in each country's political, cultural and economic ties with Grenada, the content of the European newspaper coverage was relatively uniform, and the events were similarly represented as an EastWest clash and as a Communist threat. Accordingly, Servaes concluded that the norms shared by the six European countries transcended the different political, economic, and cultural contexts in each country. Walter C. Soderlund (1990), professor of Political Science at the University of Windsor, Ontario, also sought to explain the similarities and differences in press 7

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coverage of different col.intries in light of the social, economic and political ties to the foreign country being covered. His study compared the press coverage of the 1982 and 1984 Salvadoran elections using leading newspapers in the United States and Canada. Soderlund examined a hypothesis that the Western press is so sensitive to government pressure that in covering a crisis, press reporting tends to mirror government policy. The results in testing this hypothesis were mixed; while the total volume of the articles was twice as much in the American press as in Canada, the media portrayal of the elections was essentially the same in the two countries. The proportion in which articles both favorable and unfavorable to an American interpretation of the Salvadoran elections appeared in the Canadian and the American press was roughly equal (71). Soderlund's study thus suggests that Canadian reporters tended to regard the conflict in a similar perspective as Americans did and that such shared perspectives were reflected in the coverage. In short, between the United States and Canada, coverage was more similar thari different, despite the different political relations to the country being covered. Differences While the above studies support the view that there is apparently a global trend toward uniformity in press coverage due to shared professional norms and news information, other studies have focused on differences in press accounts among different nations. Amo ( 1984a, 1) states that press coverage of international news differs in different countries since the press "do not merely transmit, but also frame and interpret messages." Reflecting this point of view, it has been argued 8

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that in framing messages, press coverage is constrained both by institutionalized practices and by the political, economic, social, and cultural systems inherent in each country (Soesilo and Was burn 1994, 368). In other words, press coverage may differ among different countries as it does tend to reflect inherent political, economic, social and cultural systems in each country. Amo has explained how universal journalistic nonns tend to be negated by systematic constraints inherent in media organizations as well as in each culture. According to Amo: ... in certain political contexts, the professionalism of the media practitioners is minimized in its effect on fmal products because political or social values are reasserted in the decision-making process and ultimately have the greater weight. Differences among forms of government then may show up as differences in the behavior of media organizations in conflict situations (12). Another factor that works toward differentiation, Amo (12) states, is the cultural context in which the press operates. In the process of framing and interpreting messages for the people, media organizations necessarily observe social and cultural conventions, which in turn determine how each media organization covers the news. Specific cultural conventions inClude "basic and deeply rooted patterns that govern social interactions, ways of conceptualizing and symbolizing social entities and situations, and the hierarchies of rules and precepts that constitute prevailing systems of morality or ethics." Similarly, Doris A. Graber (1993), professor of Political Science at the University oflllinois at Chicago, and Hamid Mowlana (1984), professor of International Relations and Director of International Communication Studies at 9

PAGE 15

American University, argue that press coverage reflects the actual perspectives of the journalists and that the framing of foreign news in the U.S. tends to be pro American. They attribute such tendency to both cultural and institutional factors. American journalists, Graber (383) states, have stereotyped views of the world and are predisposed to cover a news event with such a chauvinistic mindset by identifying countries that they are covering as either foe or friend. She (396) adds that a pro-American bias is enforced by a reliance on American (official) sources and their foreign policy assumptions. Mowlana echoes her view: Cultural values and ideological frames of reference reduce the media's ability to serve as independent sources of information, particularly in times of international conflict (79). -The U.S. media tend to define the crisis or conflict in whatever way best confmns their most firmly established perception of the events that led to it (92). The content analyses conducted by Soesilo and Wasbum (1994) presented similar views of the U.S. press. ArieS. Soesilo, professor at the University of Indonesia, and Philo C. Was burn, professor of Sociology at Purdue University (1994), examined whether there were.differences between press coverage in the First and Third Worlds. Using the Gulf Crisis in 1990-91 as a case, they compared the accounts of the crisis in the Gulf using The New York Times and a leading Indonesian newspaper, Kompas. Specifically, they looked into how different "formal media system norms" affect press content. (The New York Times operates 10

PAGE 16

under a "free press" system while Kompas is under a "developmental press" system 1 ) (368). The findings indicated that there were substantial differences in how each paper "framed" the crisis and its implications while there were also similarities.2 The study also found that in a crisis situation, the Western media, including The New York Times, tended to reflect the U.S. government's position because of their reliance on information from the government. 3 Thus, Soesilo and Was bum 1 According to Soesilo and Wasburn (1994), Dennis McQuail (1988) defines a "free press" system as: 1. Publication should be free from any prior censorship; 2. Attack on any government, official or political party should not be punishable; 3. There should be no compulsion to publish anything; 4. No restriction should be placed on the colleciton, by legal means, of information for publication; 5. Journalists should be able to claim a considerable degree of professional autonomy within their organiation. A "developmental press" system is defined as: 1. Media should accept and carry out positive development tasks; 2. Media should give priority in news and information to links with other developming countries; 3. Journalists have responsibilities as well as freedoms in their information gathering and dissemination tasks; 4. In the interests of development ends, the state has a right to intervene in, or restrict, media operations, and devices of censorship, subsidy and direct control can be justified (Soesilo and Wasbum 1994, 370). 2 Specifically, whereas twice as many articles in The New York Times viewed the crisis from a First World perspective than from a Third World perspective, in Kompas three times as many articles viewed the crisis from a Third World perspective than from a First World perspective. With regard to the implications of the Gulf Crisis as a threat to the world order. however. more similar views were expressed than different ones between the two newspapers. Just as The New York Times framed the crisis as a threat to the existing world order (23.9 % ). Kompas did so and even more frequently (29.2 %). Kompas framed the crisis as a threat to Third World political economy much less frequently (19.5%) than it did as a threat to the exisiting world order. These mixed results thus indicated both Kompas's having a Third World perspective and its extensive dependence on an information system dominated by the West (Soesilo and Wasbum 1994, 375). 3 This tendency was particularly strong in the case of the Gulf Crisis because "commercial and political interests coincided" (Soesilo and Wasbum 1994. 379). When the information is tightly controlled by the government, the media's dependence on official sources increases. Since the public tended to support the official policy in the Gulf. there was a commercial incentive for the media to use official sources. 1 1

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concluded that in crisis situations, a "free press" might be as constrained and as supportive of the government as was "a developmental press"-in the Third World. The studies discussed above all analyzed press coverage of political events, mostly military affairs. Contrary to press coverage of political events, however, press coverage of ecmiomic events has rarely been the subject of systematic content analysis. As in covering military affairs abroad, reporters' objectivity may also be subject to bias in covering economic affairs between the United States and a foreign country. A recent study conducted by Michael Balter, although not reported in a scholarly fashion, should be noted in this regard. The fmdings indicated that the U.S. press framed an economic conflict also from an American perspective. Balter (1993), an American free-lance journalist based in Paris, conducted a. survey of major newspaper articles both in the U.S. and France concerning the GAIT farm subsidy feud and the agreement reached in November, 1991. Balter first noted the low priority that the American press gave to the GAIT talks saying that most stories appeared in "the back pasture of the business pages." Balter ( 46), then identified chauvinism and the lack of depth and context in reporting. He states that press coverage seldom went beyond the accounts of a simplistic pictures of the feud between free-traders and European protectionists. As a reason for what he regarded as inappropriate news coverage, Balter cited a disproportionate reliance of American journalists on U.S. sources, as opposed to reliance on foreign correspondents. Lacking the chance to explore European views closely ,"Balter argues, domestic reporters are confmed to a narrow 12

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framework, and tend to "fall victim to the 'we' syndrome in reporting a trade conflict just as in reporting a skinnish or a war" (47). While criticizing "them," Balter (47) states, reporters seldom scrutinize the assumptions behind the U.S. negotiating position. As for French press coverage, Balter found similarly simplistic and unbalanced accounts. The French press described the United States "as a sort of international bully for pressuring the EC to take reforms in the agricultural policy even further and as hypocritical" (Balter 1993, 49). Summary While there was evidence of shared journalistic norms in some cases, in most cases there were differences, especially in how each press "framed" the news and portrayed the actors. These differences were not only ascribed to the actual situation of the conflict, but also to different perspectives prevalent in each country as well as to different formal media systems in different countries. The literature thus suggests that as far as the U.S. press is concerned, stereotyped views of reporters tend to dominate the press accounts of a country considered as "foe." Furthermore, it has been argued that depending on the conflict situation, the role the U.S. press plays ranges from a neutral third party to an actor in news making (Mowlana 1984, 71; Arno 1984b, 232). In light of these points made in the literature, it appears worthwhile to compare press coverage in the American and Japanese press, since Japan is a non Third World nation, but non-Western and also an ally (as opposed to a foe) of the United States. In theory, therefore, both homogenizing factors due to shared developed countries values and differentiating factors due to West-East differences 13

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are supposed to affect U.S. and Japanese press coverage on a conflict with Japan. Are there more differences than similarities or vice-versa? Until1993, there were few systematic and scholarly data on comparative analysis of press coverage in the United States and Japan (Krauss 1993a, 29). That year, the project "Communicating Across the Pacific," funded by the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs, was conducted by a group made up mainly of American scholars, including Stanley Budner, consultant to the Center, and Ellis S. Krauss, professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert on Japan and Japan's media. Budner conducted the empirical study and Krauss analyzed the factors contributing to the differences. Budner (1993) compared and assessed the degree of objectivity and balance in American and Japanese press coverage concerning three of the most contentious issues involving the two nations in the late 1980s: The FSX debate (November 1988 -September 1989), the purchase of Columbia Pictures and The Rockefeller Center by Japanese corporations (October 1989 --December 1989), and the Structural Impediments Initiative (SIT) negotiations (April1989 --August 1990). Budner (23) found that there were more differences than similarities between press coverage in the U.S. and Japan. Marked differences were found in substantive arguments between U.S. and Japanese press coverage despite the fact that "both American and Japanese journalists declare their adherence to the norms of balance and objectivity" (24). The study shows that generally, American coverage tended to be both more balanced and objective than Japanese coverage as well as more detailed and elaborate. However, it was also indicated that balance and objectivity tended to vary with the nature of the issue being covered (23). 14

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In light of these fmdings, therefore, I believe that there is a need for further study on press coverage in order to examine 1) how differently the same event is covered by each press and 2) whether or not stereotyped or biased views are expressed in other U.S.-Japan conflicts not covered by Budner. Accordingly, I will examine the press reaction to the Semiconductor Trade Agreement (ST A) in a manner similar to Budner's by conducting item-by-item analysis of views expressed in each article. By following up on Budner's project, this paper is also intended to investigate whether or not there is a persistent pattern in press reaction to a series of trade issues between the United States and Japan. In the next chapter, I will explain the development of the semiconductor industry and the trade conflict between the United States. Following the background chapter, the fmdings from the content analysis are reported in Chapter Three. Chapter Three is divided in two sections. The ftrst section begins by general comparison of the attributes and the subjects covered in the articles. Following the general comparison, various views expressed in the coverage are investigated and compared. Specifically, the second section is guided by such questions as: How did each press characterize the 1991 STA? Did press coverage reflect such opposing views, fairness vs. competitiveness? Were there any differences in substantive arguments? Did each press reflect the position of the government? Based on the fmdings, Chapter Four will then discuss the findings based on the following questions: What were the factors contributing to such similarities and differences? How did shared norms and systematic differences affect press accounts? How are the fmdings different from or similar to the previous studies of 15

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trade conflict? What are the general perspectives of the press in the United States and Japan regarding the STA? The chapter presents my conclusions. 16

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CHAPI'ER TWO THE SEMICONDUCTOR TRADE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND JAPAN This chapter presents an overview of the development of the semiconductor industry both in the United States and Japan. First, the early history is explained in light of how each government played a role in the development of the industry. Second, the increasing competition between the two nations is described. Third, a series of trade negotiations which started in the early 1980s is chronicled. Finally, the background of the 1986 STA and the subsequent conflicts are summarized. Earlier Period: 1950s and 1960s The semiconductor (integrated circuit) was invented by two Americans in 1959, following the invention of the transistor by Bell Laboratories in 1947 (Destler 1992, 127). Silicon Valley, which came into being in the late 1950s, has long represented the technological cutting edge and engineered the development of the semiconductor industry as "an unchallenged leader" in the world (Tyson 1993, 88). Small ventures such as Texas Instruments, as Well as giant flnns, including General Motors, RCA, and ffiM, were the driving force in the evolution of semiconductors for many years (Prestowitz 1988, 31 ). Such an important development was not made without government support. Though none of these private companies were funded for their research and development (R & D), they were certainly assured of a large demand by the U.S. 17

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government. According to Tyson (1993, 86), the U.S. government was willing to purchase chips in quantity at premium prices and that helped a growing number of companies refine their production skills and develop elaborate manufacturing facilities. Thus, the U.S. government's military procurement is believed to have played an important role in the evolution of semiconductors throughout the 1960s. Japan's in the 1970s Determined to close the gap with the United States, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) of Japan decided to target the development of semiconductors as one of the most important industries as early as the late 1950s (Prestowitz 1988, 33). Specifically, MITI promoted Japanese chip manufacturers to create "a competitive indigenous computer industry" (Tyson 1993, 93). Despite the MITI's efforts, however, the U.S. dominance in the semiconductor market remained unchallenged worldwide, including in the Japanese market, well into the 1970s. Thus, when the foreign market share of semiconductors in Japan hit 40 percent in 1974, MITI decided to intervene more heavily to reverse that trend. As it often did in other growth sectors in the past, MITI again resorted to their powerful influence over the industry and informally pressured the chip users not to use foreign chips. The Japanese government has long used such informal guidelines, "administrative guidance," to help specific industries deal with problems as necessary (Okimoto 1989, 93). It is widely believed that MITI's administrative guidance effectively prevented the U.S. firms from increasing sales in the Japanese semiconductor market. Despite their lower prices and higher quality, U.S. manufacturers could not easily enterthe Japanese market, which was protected by 1 8

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numerous informal barriers (Tyson 1993, 95). Consequently, the import share in Japan began to decline steadily (Flamm 1991, 24). Development in the 1980s As Japan's highly charged catch-up efforts continued, by the end of the 1970s the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) began to complain about Japan's unfair trade practices. At their request, the first formal negotiations were initiated in 1981. The SIA's utmost concern was Japan's selling of chips at extremely low prices, a practice called dumping. There was, however, a fundamental disagreement over what was the problem. Japan did not admit to the U.S. accusation of dumping. Instead, Japanese officials claimed Japan was following normal business practices in order to "build a more prosperous and powerful country" (Prestowitz 1988, 47). In the early 1980s, the semiconductor trade was not a priority for the United States government. In fact, the issue of trade itself was not a priority. The Reagan White House, which was ardently in support of free trade, did not see the need to regulate the semiconductor trade with a bilateral agreement. When the negotiations started in 1981 under Congressional pressure to do something about Japan's continued dumping and closed semiconductor market, only a few officials in the U.S. government were concerned with Japan's dumping, and they were initially unsuccessful in getting the government's attention (Prestowitz 1988, 50-52). The State Department and the National Security Council, meanwhile, were reluctant to confront Japan because they regarded Japan as an important ally. Other related agencies and departments in the U.S. government were simply not interested. l9

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Nonetheless, in November 1982, due to the efforts of the few interested parties, the First Semiconductor Agreement was concluded. Unsatisfied with the progress after the 1982 agreement, which the Department of Commerce described as "more a monument to clever drafting than anything else" (Prestowitz 1988, 52), Congress continued to put pressure on the executive branch to further negotiate with Japan. The resulting Second Semiconductor Agreement, concluded in November 1983, however, did not significantly change the situation, either. At this point, the Reagan Administration was still not fully engaged in this dispute. While the Japanese industry kept producing increasingly lower-priced semiconductors, many U.S. manufacturers went out of business. Those who stayed in business were reporting huge losses (Prestowitz 1988, 55). During 1985, the Japanese share of the global semiconductor market fmally surpassed the U.S. share (Prestowitz 1988, 55). Faced with this unprecedented crisis in their history, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) fmally flied for relief against unfair Japanese trading practices under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 in June of 1985. By then, Congressional pressure on President Reagan to take action against Japan had peaked, especially since the trade deficit hit the $150-billion mark in 1985 (Prestowitz 1988, 56). Meanwhile, the SIA had further strengthened the highly sophisticated lobbying efforts against Congress to pass tough legislation against Japan. It was against this background that the whole U.S. government began to take up the issue of semiconductor trade more seriously. In September, President Reagan declared a new trade policy that emphasized a tougher approach to foreign 20

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countries.4 The semiconductor trade was selected as the Administration's first target. In December 1985, the U.S. government (the Department of Commerce) filed a dumping case against the Japanese chip manufacturers following the SIA's suit and two dumping petitions from private industry. Thus, the situation in which both countries negotiated a third semiconductor agreement, the 1986 ST A, was substantially different from the previous two agreements. By the beginning of 1986, Japan had already been saddled with several anti-dumping cases, and was simultaneously threatened with the possibility of retaliation under Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 for dumping and unfair trade charges. The United States had gained "the leverage for negotiating market access" thanks to these legal charges against Japan (Krauss 1993b, 267). The Semiconductor Trade Agreement of 1986 The third semiconductor trade agreement was fmaJ.ly reached on July 31, 1986 (Fukushima 1992, 226). It was aimed at addressing two issues: dumping and foreign share in the Japanese market. Among other numerous trade pacts concluded between the United States and Japan during the 1980s, the 1986 STA has been regarded as unique for one distinct feature in its provisions. Unlike previous trade agreements (as in auto and steel exports), which were intended to limit Japan's exports through the use of voluntary export restraints (VERs ), the 1986 ST A was intended to increase U.S. firms' access to Japanese markets to expand U.S. 4 It was meant to be a somewhat symbolic gesture to show toughness to Congress (Destler 1992, 126). 21

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exports. Specifically, in a side letter to the agreement (which was then not known to the public) Japan offered to "try to expand foreign chip makers' share of the Japanese market to 20 percent by 1991" (Flamm 1991, 23). Anti-dumping measures required the Japanese government to constantly monitor "cost and price data of Japanese chip producers to determine whether they are violating U.S. anti dumping laws" (Wall Street Journal June 5, 1991, A2). During the negotiations, the Japanese industry was not happy as they perceived that conforming to the proposed agreement would put too much burden on them. The disputed "dumping in third markets" was perceived as illegal by the United States, but not by Japan.S Nevertheless, the Japanese government eventually entered into an agreement under growing political pressures from the United States. The Japanese govemmentabove all wanted to avoid retaliation tariffs. According to C. Fred Bergsten, director of Institute for International Economics, the bilateral agreement was "a short-cut" for Japan to the solution of the mounting dumping charges brought against Japan's unfair trade practices (1993, 129). Retaliation Against the expectation of U.S. negotiators, the 1986 ST A did not bring any immediate changes in Japanese firms' behavior. Less than two months after the 1986 STA was signed, the U.S. government began to express its concern to Japanese trade officials for Japan's continued third-market dumping. In the 5 The series of legal actions against Japan was referred to as "multiple legal harassment" by a Japanese trade official (Miyasato 1990, 98). 22

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meantime, frustration over Japanese unchanging trade pattern was building among the members of Congress. By mid-March, 1987, both houses of Congress had passed unanimous resolutions which called for retaliation against Japan for both the dumping violations and the lack of improvement in foreign chip makers' market access. Under increasing pressure from Congress and the SIA, fmally on April 17, 1987, President Reagan imposed tariffs on $300 million worth of the Japanese exports, following Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act (Krauss 1993b, 276). When the retaliatory tariffs were initially announced, a newspaper article in Japan (Nikkei March 30, 1987) reported the Japanese government bad sworn that it did not violate the agreement and initially protested the U.S. decision. The retaliation, the first such act in the postwar history, shocked and angered the Japanese government as well as the industry which had been dissatisfied with the unilateral nature of the 1986 ST A. They were puzzled as they saw the retaliation as unreasonable in light'of Japan's increased efforts to open the market and business cooperation since 1986. Moreover, the Japanese government had never recognized the illegality of their selling practice (charged as dumping) nor the allegedly closed market of Japan. The Japanese government protested that it would either appeal to GATT on the basis that retaliatory tariffs as well as the STA itself was against GATT (Nikkei March 30, 1987). Yet, the Japanese government's appeal for reconsideration did not change the course of event. In response to MITI, the U.S. government explained that the retaliation was not a protectionist action but only a reaction to Japan's dumping and closed market (Nikkei April11, 1987). Unless the real figure (market share) showed an increase, they added, that they would consider the STA to be violated (Matsui 23

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1993, 15). Hence, Reagan's action set the stage for yet another confrontation over semiconductor trade. A Side-Letter Controversy Another incident that created furor on both sides and further politicized the issue of semiconductor trade concerned a side letter to the STA. The specifics of the "secret" side letter unexpectedly became public in January of 1989, when a newly appointed United States Trade Representative (USTR), Carla Hills, disclosed the details at her Senate confrrmation hearing. The letter6 was interpreted by the U.S. as Japan's promise to open the market to foreign producers at least 20 percent. After the revelation was made, the Japanese government initially denied even the existence of the side letter. (They would have lost face if they had accepted the U.S. claim that Japan "promised" to open the market.) The disagreement between the two governments over the nature of Japan's commitment to the target attracted the attention of the media for the following several months (Fukushima 1992, 236). Later, as more details came out, Japanese officials modified their original stance but still denied having made an actual commitment to a 20 percent target in the letter: a MITI official argued that even if there had been a letter, there was no 6 The letter stated, "The Government of Japan recognizes the U.S. semiconductor industry's expectation that semiconductor sales in Japan of foreign capital-affiliated companies will grow to at least slightly above 20 percent of Japanese market in five years, and that the Japanese government "will encourage Japanese users to purchase more foreign-based semiconductors" (Krauss 1993b, 296). 24

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mention of a promise (Kuroda 1989, 69). Such persistent denial by Japanese officials puzzled and annoyed U.S. trade negotiators (Nikkei March 8, 1989). As a result of this incident, the Japanese government suffered embaml.ssment because of their contradiction in their public statements. During the rest of the tenure of the 1986 ST A, the issue of semiconductor trade remained one of the most dominant conflicts of all trade disputes between the two nations. In 1989, semiconductors became the target of retaliatory action again. This time semiconductors came under consideration as "a priority item" as designated under Super 301, a newly established procedure in the Omnibus Trade Act of 1988, effective initially for 1989 and 1990. Super 301 would require the U.S. government to retaliate if unfair trade practices by a country designated by the USTR were not terminated after a period of consUltation (Milner 1990, 178). The Japanese government, however, managed to persuade the U.S. government not to name the Japanese semiconductor industry. Renewal Eventually, the 1986 STA proved to be fairly effective concerning Japan's dumping, which virtually ceased by November, 1987. The agreement, however, was not as effective with respect to improving the U.S. market share in Japan. Certainly, U.S. firms' activities had increased significantly since 1986. In addition to the expansion of sales, technological cooperation with Japanese chip makers was on the rise, and the semiconductor industry was being integrated further to the benefit of both the U.S. and Japanese industries. However, the U.S. 25

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share did not grow enough 7 as it remained far below the 20 percent target. Thus, the SIA requested the Bush Administration to negotiate an extension of the 1986 agreement with Japan. In response to the SIA's action, the Japanese Electronics Industry Association (JEIA) announced its opposition (Yomiuri October 6,1990). For the Japanese government and the industry, the most disturbing issue was the market share provision, by which they felt humiliated (Yomiuri March 21, 1987; Nikkei March 22, 1987). Reflecting strong industry opposition, the Japanese government was originally against the renewal. Nevertheless Japan, concerned with further politicization of the issue and deterioration of the bilateral relationship, agreed to renew the agreement in June 1991, in exchange for the lifting of trade sanctions. The proposed ST A of 1991 was different from the original in some ways. The 1986 ST A was modified to include explicit mention of the market share target. The new anti-dumping procedures, which replaced the elaborate price-control system, were considered to require less bureaucratic control and in this sense less managed trade. Conclusion: Significance of the ST A to Each Government As indicated in the above accounts, the 1986 STA had becpme one of the most "politically" significant trade agreements between the United States and 1 The foreign market share grew from.8.6 percent in 1986 to 13.2 percent by 1990 according to WSTS (AhBhi May 15,1991). 26

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Japan by the time it neared its expiration. The ST A was important in that it was the first serious attempt to pursue results from a trade act by setting up a import target. No sooner had the STA been signed by the two nations, than it became one of the most highly political trade accords. For the U.S., it was important in that the agreement marked a turning point of U.S. trade policy toward Japan, from a more conciliatory policy which weighed diplomacy to a more result-oriented, confrontational one. Proponents of the 1986 STA shared the view that since the market mechanism did not work in Japan, special measures were needed to address trade imbalance in semiconductors. Glen S. Fukushima, a participant in the 1985-1987 trade negotiations, stated (1992, 240) that the 20 percent target was set in the 1986 STA ironically in order to make the free market principle work better in Japan. For Japan, the 1986 accord was significant in that MITI failed to control the course of events following the signing, which was rather unusual for its history of influence and political maneuver. In short, the STA is considered significant in that its provisions were understood very differently in the U.S. and Japan. The next chapter compares how the U.S. and Japanese press covered the renewal of the agreement in 1991 to examine whether or not the differences in the position of each government were reflected in press coverage. 27

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CHAPTER THREE FINDINGS Introduction This chapter, consisting of two parts, discusses the results of the content analysis of the press coverage on the ST A. First, a general comparison is made of the attributes of the U.S. and Japanese articles, newsworthiness and other general patterns. Second, a point-by-point comparison is made of various views on a given theme related to the STA. General Comparison Numbers and Types of Articles As the table 3 .1. shows the total number of newspaper articles was 17 for the U.S. newspapers and 64 for the Japanese newspapers. The significant difference in the total number of news articles is partly due to inherent differences between the U.S. and Japanese press. First, the Japanese newspapers tend to include very short items of only a few paragraphs while the U.S. articles are generally long. The data selected for this project fit this pattern. Of the 64 Japanese articles, 25 articles consisted of one or two paragraphs. The articles I collected from the U.S. newspapers did not include such short items. All but one U.S. article had at least ten paragraphs. 28

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Second, Japanese newspapers are published twice a day, with a morning and evening version, except on Sundays. U.S. newspapers are published once a day. Though the evening version has significantly fewer pages, the first international news from the West tends to appear in the evening version because of the time lag. The same news is usually covered more fully in the morning version the following day. The evening version also provides an additional opportunity for analysis. With regard to Japanese press coverage of the STA, the ratio of the morning/evening version was 45119. Table 3.1.-Numbers and types of articles Category us (%) Straight News 13 (76.5) Analysis 4 (23.5) Feature (Series) 0 Editorial 0 Interview 0 Total 17 (100.0) Japan (%) 42 (65.6) 11 (17.2) 7 (10.9) 3 (4.9) 1 (1.6) 64 (100.0) Aside from these inherent characteristics of the Japanese newspapers, the biggest factor affecting the volume of articles may be the newsworthiness perceived by each press. Accordingly, I next examined what kind of news constituted each country's straight news, which constituted the majority of all the press coverage. 29

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As table 3.1. shows, a majority of the articles in both countries were straight news.8 However, of the Japanese articles, more than one third, 22 items, were other than straight news, and they were in four different categories: analysis, feature, editorial and interview.9 Of the U.S. articles, three quarters, 13 items, were straight news and the rest were all analytical pieces. No other category existed. No editorials were written in the U.S. press. This means that, by far, more pages in Japanese newspapers were devoted to subjective opinions and analysis by the press than in U.S. newspapers. Most of the analysis articles in the Japanese press appeared in such regular columns as "Commentary," "Undercurrent," and "News Review," unique to each newspaper. All three Japariese elite newspapers, Asahi, Nikkei, Yomiuri, carried features either before or after the agreement was reached. These relatively long pieces were written to give readers a more detailed background of the STA than one that was included in the daily news. Asahi's feature series, titled "Merits and Demerits of the 1986 STA (May 15-17, 1991)" was done in three parts. Two foreign correspondents traveled to New York, Boise, Minneapolis, and Berkeley and did interviews on the history ofU.S.-Japan competition in the semiconductor industry. Yomiuri's series, titled "A Spin-off of the 1991 STA (June 6-7, 1991)," 8 "Straight News" is defined as an article that covers daily news, written largely to transmit the facts. In this project, straight news articles containing analytical comments were categorized under Straight News. 9 Articles categorized under "Analysis" include opinions and columns. "Feature" is defined here as those Japanese investigative stories written by reporters. Feature is carried in a series, in twoto threeparts, under one title and usually accompanies the coverage of significant news as additional background information. It gives an analysis of background of a news event and may be written from a specific point of view of the newspaper (van Dijk 1988, 124). Additionally, it usually includes a picture. An "interview" is a report of an interview conducted by a newspaper reporter. 30

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was in two parts and done anonymously. It focused on the reaction of the semiconductor industry around the world. Nikkei's series, titled "Exploring the way for U.S.-Japan's Co-Existence (June 6-7, 1991)," investigated various industrial activities and plans for the future. One piece was written in Houston and the other in Japan. Editorials appeared in all Japanese newspapers but Asahi. One interview report was conducted with the SIA chairman Wilfred Corrigan by Asahi (May 2, 1991). Subjects Covered Table 3.2. shows the subjects of the straight news in U.S. and Japanese press coverage. The purpose of table 3.2 is two-fold. First, it shows what subjects by themselves constituted separate articles and it compares the ratio of single subject to multiple-subject articles in each press. Second, it illuminates the different standard of the newsworthiness between the U.S. and Japanese press. Table 3.2. indicates that more than 80 percent of the straight news articles in Japan covered only one subject. The subjects covered included the negotiation schedule and agenda, comments by USTR and the SIA chairman and reactions to the STA. In contrast, more than SO percent of the U.S. articles covered multiple subjects. In the Japanese newspapers, any disagreement between the U.S. and Japan during the months-long negotiations was almost always reported. As many as twelve Japanese articles written solely on the progress or the stalemate of the negotiations. In fact, the Japanese press followed the progress of the negotiations at every step of the way. 31

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Table 3.2.-The subjects of the straight news Subjects us (%) Japan (%) Articles with a single subject 2 (15.4) 36 (85.7) Schedule 0 9 (21.4) Signing of the STA 0 2 (4.8) Negotiation agenda/update 0 12 (28.6) Comment by USTRa 0 6 (14.3) Comment by SIA b 0 1 (2.4) Reaction to the ST A c 2 (15.4) 6 (14.3) Congress 1 SIA 3 Japanese companies 1 Joint press conference 1 2 Articles with multiple subjects 11 (84.6) 6 (14.3) Total 13(100.0) 42(100.0) a U.S. Trade Representative b The Semiconductor Industry Association c The Semiconductor Trade Agreement of 1991 In the U.S. press, the fact that a negotiation took place on a certain day by itself did not necessarily make news. Thus ST A-related articles appeared much less frequently in the U.S. press, but whenever one appeared, it was likely to be complemented with other background information. As table 3.2. shows, another newsworthy topic in the Japanese press was comments by the U.S. trade officials or the SIA officials durirtg the negotiations. Their comments, to which the Japanese press was very attentive were reported in seven separate articles. The fact that the comments were described as a "demand" (three times) and as a "threat" (once) by the United States seems to explain why 32

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they made news in the Japanese press. One (Nikkei, May 21, 1991) even included a picture of U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills. As far as the STA was concerned, no other picture accompanied the Japanese straight news articles. It seems to reflect the Japanese press' interest not only in the office of U.S. Trade Representative but also in Carla Hills, reputed as a tough female negotiator. In the U.S. newspapers, no separate stories were written in response to either U.S. or Japanese trade officials' comments. Instead, some comments made by the related parties were reported only as part of the larger news. To sum up, the negotiations and the related aetivities of the U.S. government and the SIA were more closely followed by the Japanese press than by the U.S. press, which mostly ignored the negotiations until they neared conclusion. When the U.S. press did cover the news, most of the articles included multiple subjects. Consequently, there were nearly twice as many straight news articles with multiple subjects in the U.S. press than the Japanese press, despite the wide difference in the absolute number of articles between the two countries. These differences as summarized in table 3.2. indicate the different standards of newsworthiness set by each press. Sources Next, news sources were compared. Whether the story is written by a domestic writer or by a foreign correspondent is an important factor contributing to the objectivity of the press coverage. According to Balter (1993), foreign correspondents have a less narrow view and their stories tend to be less critical of 33

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the country where they are stationed even when that country is under attack by their home country. As table 3.3 shows, the distribution of the sources was very different between the two nations. In U.S. press coverage, outside contributors wrote as many articles as staff writers did. It is not known how common this type of special contribution is in U.S. news coverage related to trade, since there are no comparable data available as of this writing. However, frequent inclusion of special contributors should add different perspectives to U.S. press coverage. All the U.S. articles identified the writers. Table 3.3.--Sources of news Sources us(%) Japan (%) -Staff Writer 7 (41.2) 0 Editor 0 3 (4.7) Analyst 0 1 (L6) Foreign Correspondent 5 (29.4) 36 (56.3) Anonymous 0 21 (32.8) Outside contributor 5 (29.4) 0 Wire Services 0 3 (4.7) Total 17 (100.0) 64 (100.0) In the Japanese press, foreign correspondents contributed the majority of the news. The negotiations held in Washington D.c. to were covered exclusively 10. The negotiations alternated between Washington D. C. and Tokyo; May 8-11, 1991, Washington, D.C.; May 17-19, 1991, Tokyo; 3-4 June, 1991, Washington, D.C. 34

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by foreign correspondents, while the negotiations held in Tokyo were reported anonymously. The anonymous Japanese articles were written by staff writers in Tokyo. Between the negotiations, additional news (mainly on U.S. officials' comments) was also reported by foreign correspondents. In the U.S. press, regardless of the location of the negotiations, foreign correspondents in Tokyo wrote news stories for Wall Street Journal and Christian Science Monitor while all articles in The New York Times and all but one article in Washington Post were written in Washington D.C. Based on Balter's argument that foreign correspondents are less chauvinistic than the writers in the home country, the Japanese press was theoretically in a better position to look at the issue objectively. Incidentally, the U.S. press did not carry a single news story from wire services while the Japanese press used them three times. Balance in Quotes Next, I examined the quotes m the articles that appeared immediately after the conclusion of the ST A negotiations. The purpose of this comparison was to fmd out how extensively comments were sought by each press and how they were balanced between American and Japanese spokespersons. During the period immediately after the conclusion of the STA, from June 4 to 6, seven articles containing quotes appeared in the U.S. press and eight appeared in the Japanese press. Table 3.4. shows the comparison among the newspapers. As table 3.4. indicates, on average, an article in the U.S. press included more quotes than an article in the Japanese press. Overall, there were nearly twice 35

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as many quotes in the U.S. articles as in the Japanese articles. The emphasis on getting comments seems to be stronger in the U.S. press. Both presses focused on the comments from industry representatives; they represented 64 percent of the individuals quoted in the Japanese press and 56 percent in the U.S. press. However, the U.S. press inCluded comments from a wider range of people than the Japanese press did. Each press tended to get more comments from their own government and industry officials than from the other government and industry. In the U.S. press, the ratio of American to Japanese quotes was 71.8 to 28.2 percent. In the Japanese press, the same ratio was 21.2 to 72.7 percent. In terms of absolute numbers, the U.S. press included nearly as mimy as comments by Japanese industry representatives as the Japanese press did. Both presses quoted the same people. The slight difference in the figures was due to the fact that the same people were quoted more than once in different the Japanese newspapers. As table 3.4. shows, of all the newspapers, the large number of quotes in the Wall Street Journal is salient. The three articles in Wall Street Journal included twenty one quotes altogether while The New York Times and Washington Post included nine and five quotes respectively. This comparison illuminates the difference of Wall Street Journal as a business paper from the rest of the newspapers. In the Japanese press, although Nikkei is compared to Wall Street Journal as a business oriented newspaper, there was not much difference in the number of quotes between Nikkei and the other Japanese newspapers. The number of quotes per article ranged from one to five. 36

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Table 3.4 .:... Number of comments quoted in articles Newspapers us us us us JPN JPN JPN Total Executive Cong. Industry others gov. industry others NYT, June4 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 5 NYT, June 5 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 NYT, June 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 WP, June4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 WP, June 5 0 1 3 0 1 0 0 5 WSJ, June 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 WSJ, June 5 2 1 5 1 1 1 0 11 WSJ, June 6 0 0 2 0 0 6 0 8 CSM, June 6 1 0 2 0 0 1 0 4 US total 6 5 14 3 3 8 0 39 (%) (15.4) (12.8) (35.9) (7.7) (7. 7) (20.5) 0 (100.0) Asahi, June 5, p.8 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 Asahi, June 5, p.9 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 5 Yomiuri, June 5 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 Nikkei, June 5, p.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 Nikkei, June 5, p.5 0 0 0 .o 1 0 0 1 Nikkei, June 5, p.11 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 5 Nikkei, June 6, eve. 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 Japan Times, June 6a 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 Japan Times, June 6h 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 IPN total 2 1 3 0 5 11 0 22 (%) (9.1) (4.5) (13.6) 0 (22.7) (50.0) 0 (100.0) Total 8 6 17 3 8 19 0 61 a Top column b Bottom column 37

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Background To further understand the general characteristics of the press coverage I next compared the extent and type of background each press provided as part of news stories on the 1991 ST A. As described in Chapter Two, throughout the tenure of the original1986 STA, the U;S. and Japanese governments were constantly at odds with each other regarding Japan's coillill.itment to the pact. Hence, if the press coverage has the tendency to reflect each government's position, context and background could be given very differently. With this assumption in mind, I examined the data by coding the range of subjects covered. As data in table 3.5. shows, despite a much larger number of Japanese articles overall, U.S. and Japanese press coverage included about the same number of articles containing background. Only sixteen Japanese articles out of sixty-four articles included some discussion of background. Of the sixteen articles, seven were "feature" articles that exclusively dealt with background. Many of the Japanese "straight news" articles were shorter by comparison and did not include background. Yet, even some longer Japanese articles strikingly omitted background. The U.S. articles were relatively long and most of them, thirteen out of seventeen, included some background on the ST A negotiations. The total number of background topics wa.S greater in the U.S. articles. The items listed under "background topics" in table 3.5. relate to the major issues related to the 1986 ST A described in detail in Chapter Two. They are: The political context of 1985, semiconductor industry development, the goaVprovisions of 1986 ST A, the U.S. sanctions in 1987, the side effects of the 1986 ST A, the controversy over the secret side letter, and the effect: improved share. On an average, there 38

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were 2.2 background topics per article in U.S. press coverage while there were 1.3 topics per article in Japanese press coverage 11. Table 3.5.--0ccurrence of topics related to background on the 1986 STA Background topics us (%) Japan (%) Political context of 1985 2 (15.4) 0 Semiconductor industry development 3 (23.1) 8 (50.0) Goal/provisions of the 1986 STA 4 (30.8) 1 (6.3) U.S. sanctions in 1987 4 (30.8) 4 (25.0) Side effects of the 1986 ST A 4 (30.8) 1 (6.3) Controversy over the secret side letter 8 (61.5) 4 (25.0) The effect: improved share 4 (30.8) 3 (18.8) Total number of background topicsa 29 (100.0) 21 (100.0) Total number of the articles containing background 13 (100.0) 16 (100.0) a Multiple coding The imbalance between the U.S. and Japanese articles concerning press' focus on each subject seems significant. Table 3.5. indicates that the U.S. articles provided background more evenly and more frequently among the topics than in the Japanese press. Table 3.5. also indicates rather significant differences in the occurrence of specific background topics between the U.S. and Japanese articles. First, the political context regarding the situation prompting the 1986 negotiations was totally left out of the Japanese articles but included in two U.S. articles; the Japanese 11 The ratio is based on the articles containing background. 39

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articles omitted the reference to Japan's alleged dumping in 1985. The legal judgment involving dumping has been controversial and Japan never admitted to the charge. Yet, totally ignoring the topic suggests a lack of objectivity in Japanese press coverage. The topic of the development of the semiconductor industry was covered much more frequently by the Japanese press than iD the American press; eight references were in the Japanese press and three were in the American press. Seven out of the eight Japanese references were in feature articles. It suggests that the Japanese press chose to provide more extensive industry background by using the format of feature (in series) which allowed plenty of space to describe the strength of the Japanese industry. In the U.S. press, references to background generally topics were not mixed with opinions. The topic of so-called the side-letter controversy was the background topic to which the U.S. press referred most frequently. The controversy arose from the different interpretations of the side-letter to the 1986 STA. The Japanese government was embarrassed when their public statements regarding the letter proved false. Data in Table 3.5. show more than half the U.S. newspaper articles that included some background topics mentioned this controversy. As stated above, events that turn out to be an embarrassment for a government are what each press is most likely to omit if the press coverage tends to be pro-government. Considering Mffi's denial of the existence of the letter (Fukushima 1992, 235; Nikkei March 5, 1989), it might be expected that the Japanese press would talk little about it. As it turned out, there were four articles that did mention the Japanese government's flip-flop on the side-letter, though without adding any 40

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opinions regarding the issue. Thus this fmding suggests that the Japanese press is not pro-government enough to keep some embarrassing information from printing. Similarly, the U.S. press also talked about certain incidents that were an embarrassment to the U.S. government. These incidents were the side effects of the 1986 ST A and included the shortage of products and the rise in semiconductor prices after the 1987 trade sanctions. Four items duly explained how the 1986 STA turned out to be a failure in the sense that it caused a series of side effects which ended up giving Japanese companies windfall profits. Thus, the U.S. press was also not biased in either government's favor. The Japanese press did not pay much attention to this incident, with only one article discussing the side effects of the 1986 STA. This fmding also seems to defy the stereotypical_image of the Japanese press, which is that it tends to be critical of the U.S: government and favorable toward the Japanese government. The stereotype suggests that the Japanese press would have taken advantage of the embarrassing incidents to attack the 1986 ST A, which the Japanese government regarded as an unreasonable and one-sided agreement. One possible explanation for these results may be that the Japanese press is not necessarily as biased as we tend to think it is. Another possibility may be that the Japanese reporters were not well-informed ofthe background. Point-by-Point Comparison Following is the comparative analysis of each press' point of view on certain themes that appeared frequently in either press or in both. The purpose of this analysis is to compare how differently or similarly each press considered different themes related to the ST A. Accordingly, the data used in this section are 41

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only those articles containing the press' views. Those articles not expressing views were eliminated from consideration. Points of view were not only expressed in "analysis," "features," and "editorials," but also implicitly or even explicitly expressed in "straight news." Consequently, the total number of articles was 11 for the U.S. and 26 for the Japanese press coverage (table 3.6.). The themes used as comparative measures are listed in table 3.7. The examination of the press coverage indicated the following themes dominated the expressed views: US-Japan competitiveness, Japanese unfair trade practices, free-trade vs. managed trade, why the U.S. and Japan compromised, and the implications of the STA. Table 3.6.-Type of articles expressing views Type of articles u.s. (%) Japan (%) Straight Newsa 7 (63.6) 5 (19.2) Analysis 4 (36.4) 11 (42.3) Feature (Series) 0 7 (26.9) Editorials 0 3 (11.5) Total 11 (100.0) 26 (100.0) a Of the 13 U.S. straight news articles, seven included analysis/opinions. Of 42 Japanese straight news articles, five included analysis/opinions. 42

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Table 3.7.--Number of articles expressing views on the themes Themes us(%) Japan (%) US-Japan competitiveness 0 9 (34.6) Japanese unfair trade practices 1 (9.1) 0 Free-trade vs. managed trade 6 (54.5) 9 (34.6) Why US/Japan compromised 2 (18.2) 6 (23.1) Business cooperation 5 (45.5) 7 (26.9) Implications Future conflict over the market share goal 0 11 (42.3) STA becoming a. precedent i (9.1) 4 (15.4) Future trade sanctions 0 2 (7.8) Total number of themes expresseda 15 48 Total number of articles expressing views 11(100.0) 26(100.0) a Multiple coding Competitiveness As discussed in Chapter One, former deputy U.S. trade representative Glen Fukushima (1992, 124) observed during the 1985-1987 semiconductor trade negotiations that the U.S. press tended to describe the semiconductor trade conflict in light of Japan's unfair trade practices whereas the Japanese press almost always described the issue as a matter of competitiveness. Using his statement as a comparative measure, I examined whether or not the press coverage of the renewal of the STA in the United States and Japan similarly reflected such conflicting views of unfairness versus competitiveness. 43

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Data in table 3.7 show that more than one third of the Japanese articles presented the issue of semiconductor trade in terms of competitiveness in some way while no U.S. articles did so. On the issue of competitiveness, the U.S. and the Japanese press presented very different views. Nine articles in the Japanese press referred to the lack of competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers as a cause for friction. Three of them specifically argued that the STA by itself did not solve fundamental causes of friction and that solution had to include improving U.S. industry's competitiveness. They called attention to the lack of competitiveness of U.S. semiconductor makers and criticized that such a fundamental issue had been "shelved" during the negotiations that focused mainly on Japan's need to change. In contrast, no U.S. articles related the issue of competitiveness to the STA. Of the nine Japanese articles, five were featUre series run by Asahi, Yomiuri, and Nikkei. These articles detailed the superiority of Japanese companies and technology and how the U.S. companies had to rely on them to stay in business. They also mentioned how a number of U.S. semiconductor producers went out of business in a volatile market iil the 1980s and how the SIA rushed to Washington for help. The basic message common to most of these Japanese articles was that, having failed in market competition, the Urii.ted States now demanded the extension of the ST A. The preoccupation with competitiveness was particularly apparent in the headlines of some of the Japanese feature articles. Four artiCles had a headline that implied Japan's superiority in semiconductor production. They were: "Sense of Fear Persists Among U.S. Manufactures," (Asahi. May 15, 1991) 44

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"US Losing in Production of Memories," (Asahi. May 16, 1991) "US Growing Fast Taking Advantage of Japanese Technology," (Asahi. May 17, 1991) "US Shelving the Issue of Improving Competitiveness," (Nikkei. June 7, 1991) Of the three newspapers, Asahi's feature series presented the tendency to stress the weakness of the U.S. manufactures most distinctively. these headlines were used even when the story was on the strength of the U.S. manufactures in certain areas. In fact, the Japanese press' assertion in 1991 that the U.S. industry was not competitive could be disputed. For example, while the Japanese semiconductor industry was strong in commodity chips in the late 1980s, the U.S. industry was already leading in the production of so-called specialized chips which were more advanced. Moreover, the U.S. semiconductor industry has regained strength since the late 1980s due to the growing demand for these advanced chips (Asahi May 2, 1991; Asahi May 15, 1991). Therefore, there seems to be no simple answer to the question of which country is more competitive in their semiconductor industry. As for unfairness, only one U.S. article described the Japanese trade policies as unfair. No Japanese articles did so. The results thus show that Fukushima's characterization still applies to the Japanese press' point of view in 1991 while it does not necessarily apply to U.S. press' point of view. In the one U.S. article that implied that Japan's trade policy was unfair, unfairness was mentioned only as the U.S. government's point of view and not as that of the 45

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press. It stated "such steps [a managed trade approach] were justified by the Republican White House to correct past closure of Japan's microchip market and to help stop alleged dumping of Japanese semiconductors" (Christian Science Monitor June 6, 1991, 4). This article, however, did not provide strong support for a characterization of unfairness, or at least it did not take a strong stand on the issue. Rather, the article gave the impression that the writer did not agree with the administration's policy. Additionally, there was one American article that disputed the Semiconductor Industry Association's assertion of unfairness. An article in Wall Street Journal (May 20, 1991, A18) argued that U.S. chip makers' accusation of Japan's unfairly selling below cost did "not hold water." The writer then recounted how that practice of so-called dumping was a normal business practice for American as well as foreign chip makers. Interestingly, this argument was in fact the same one as the Japanese government was making all along. In summary, in describing the development of the industry, the Japanese press tended to be subjective by emphasizing the strength of Japanese industries and overlooking the strength of the U.S. industries. In 1991, the Japanese press in general expressed a similar view on the semiconductor trade as they did in 1986 by focusing on the U.S.-Japan competition and tending to blame the U.S.' lack of efforts. Additionally, while blaming the U.S. for shelving the issue of improving their competitiveness, the Japanese press themselves seem to have shelved Japan's own problems in their coverage. In the Japanese articles, the need for Japan to try to remove their non-tariff market barriers or their one-sided export policy was never seriously addressed. In contrast, the U.S. articles did not indicate a tendency to 46

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blame Japan (e.g. for unfair trade practices) and remained and neutral regarding the development of industry in both the U.S. and Japan. FreeTrade vs. Managed Trade Next, I compared how each press viewed the managed trade approach of the STAIn light of the free-trade principles that each government espoused. According to the press coverage, both the U.S. and Japanese governments and industry were satisfied with the 1991 STA. Specifically, two Japanese officials in MITI were quoted as saying that the 1991 STA removed much of the managed trade elements by mentioning market share as a target, not a guarantee (Asahi. June 5, 1991; Nikkei. June 5, 1991; Japan Times. June 6, 1991). No U.S. officials quoted in the press referred to either the term managed trade or free-trade. Apparently, forthe U.S. press, the strict anti-dumping measures included in 1986 ST A which required the Japanese government's monitoring of prices represented a case of managed trade. Since the 1991 ST A relaxed the 1986 version of anti-dumping procedures to a degree, the U.S. press was no longer concerned with managed trade. Thus, the U.S. press' own interpretation of the STA varied. Six articles either briefly touched upon free-trade principles or used the term managed trade in reference to the ST A, but they were not in agreement on whether the agreement had a free-trade or managed trade interpretations. Of the six articles, three interpreted the ST A as somewhat more in line with free-trade principles than the 1986 ST A. One article explained that the ST A "dismantled protectionist rules that were anathema to the President's [Bush's] free-trade principles" and that it was "welcome news to free-marketers" (The New York Times. June 12, 1991, D2). 47

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Another article stated, "The accord reflects President Bush's desire for more free trade in the semiconductor industry" (Wall Street Journal. June 5, 1991, A2). In contrast, the other three articles, as discussed below, regarded the ST A as an agreement going against free-trade principles. The Japanese press was not as interested with anti-dumping measures as in the 20 percent market share goal that was imposed on Japan. Notably, the Japanese press did not regard the modification of the anti-dumping measures as improvements toward free-trade. Instead, the focus was almost exclusively on the explicit mention of 20 percent market share. All the Japanese newspapers uniformly identified the ST A as nothing more than a market share agreement. Thus the Japanese press repeatedly argued that the STA would promote managed trade and that it would damage the free-trade regime, competitiveness and entrepreneurship in the industry. The Japanese press' tendency to explain the issue in terms of a free-trade vs. managed trade dichotomy was at once apparent. Specifically, nine articles used the term managed trade and/or free-trade. All were written critically and argued that the STA, as being an example of a managed trade agreement, would be likely to have negative consequences. The examples of bad effects mentioned in the articles included damage to the future innovation-and entrepreneurship in the industry, damage to U.S. competitiveness, and the possibility of creating a global cartel extended to the European Community (EC). For example, an editorial in Nikkei (June 6, 1991) criticized the ST A as being not so much of a real solution to the imbalance in semiconductor trade but a makeshift arrangement relying on a 48

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managed trade approach: government intervention. The real solution, in the editor's opinion, was to improve the competitiveness of U.S. chip manufactures. Given the fact that the U.S. market share in Japan increased from 8.5 percent in 1986 to 13.2 percent by 1990 (Yomiuri June 5, 1991), it could be expected that the U.S. press would stress the merits of the STA, despite its controversial means to that end, dictating the specific market share in an managed trade approach. I also expected the U.S. press to justify the renewal of what U.S. negotiators regarded as an effective agreement in defense of Japan's criticism. This presumption regarding the U.S. press coverage proved wrong. There was no explicit support for the STA expressed in the U.S. articles. On the contrary, the only views explicitly expressed in the U.S. articles were negative. One article was conspicuous by its critical tone of the U.S. government. An article in Wall Street Journal (May 20, 1991, AlB) described the STAas "one of the more dreadful experiments in managed trade" and called the supporters of the STA "advocates of high-tech protectionism." The writer argued that the bureaucracy invariably sided with vested interests, in this case, the SIA. This is the only U.S. article in which the writer explicitly expressed his views. Another article that mentioned managed trade was more cynical than critical in its tone. This article in Christian Science Monitor (June 6, 1991, 4) explained that the STA "differed from other trade agreements by dictating share in a 'managed trade' approach." Unlike the rest of the U.S. articles, which tended to see the modifications of anti-dumping measures as improvements, this article regarded the 1991 ST A just as bad as the 1986 ST A in that both dictated managed trade. It criticized the effects of the STAas "putting the United States in the position of 49

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encouraging the Japanese government to intervene" thus implying that the U.S. trade policy was contradictory to its free-trade principle. Except for the above two examples, U.S. press coverage generally described the features of the STA without I taking a strong stand on the issues. There were few judgmental or speculative comments. In contrast, the Japanese press was highly engaged in presenting an argument against the ST A and its managed trade approach. Most of the criticism found in the Japanese articles was, however, not well substantiated and was seemingly based on a writer's own assumptions regarding the STA. Japanese writers often used the tenn managed trade as a convenient tool to accuse the United States of not observing free-trade principles. Because of repetition and for lack of alternative themes in the coverage, the negative interpretation of the STA were conveyed effectively in the Japanese press. Additionally, such effect seems to have been further enforced by some critical headlines. Examples of headings were: "Spin-off of STA: Worrying About Criticism for 'Managed Trade"' (Yomiuri. June 5, 1991), "STA to Facilitate Trend Toward Managed Trade" (Nikkei. June 6, 1991), "Settlement for Sake of Settlement: Managed Trade Not Addressed"
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articles analyzed why the two countries reached an amicable agreement One of them reasoned that "the semiconductor industries in both countries depend heavily on exports to each other and therefore, they had stakes in a friendly outcome. And the executives and workers in that industry tend to be young, highly educated and global minded" (The New York Times, June 6, 1991, D2). In contrast, the other article presented a completely different interpretation, written from a viewpoint similar to the Japanese government's (Christhin Science Monitor. June 7, 1991). It stated that Japan, who had not been eager to renew the pact, had yielded to the growing U.S. pressure to make concessions. According to the article, the Gulf War toughened the attitude of Congress toward Japan because it "highlighted the U.S. military's dependence on Japanese high-technology." In the Japanese press coverage, six articles provided analysis of why Japan and the United States eventually compromised with each other. Basically, all these articles were saying the same thing: that political considerations outweighed the "minuses" of the ST A. A typical interpretation of the press was that, under the intense pressures from the U.S. government, Japan had no choice but to compromise if it wanted to prevent further deterioration of the bilateral relationship. Three articles specifically mentioned "a great pressure" from the SIA and Congress and the immediate need to ease tension in Congress, which had been unsatisfied with Japan's trade policy and was increasingly discontent after the Gulf War. Two articles specifically mentioned the worries of U.S. retaliation as a reason for Japan's giving in to the pressure. According to an analysis article (Nikkei. June 6, 1991), the most important proposition for the Japanese government was settlement for the sake of settlement. With a tone of regret, the article pointed out 51

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the MITI's willingness to compromise. The article articulated MITI's reasoning that no agreement on semiconductor trade would have escalated an already deteriorating mood in Congress as well as the rest of the U.S. government, arid would jeopardize the settlement of other pending trade issues. An additional reason, as explained by the Japanese press, related to symbolism in the U.S.-Japan relations. One article argued that since semiconductor trade had bee.q the most contentious issue that lay between the two nations, compromising on the ST A would serve political and symbolic purposes by improving the overall relations (Yomiuri June 5, 1991). In some of these articles, Japan's arrogant attitude was observed. Two articles explained that the Japanese had been obliged to help the U.S. industries regain strength and thus renewed the STA (Asahi June 5, 1991; Yomiuri June 5, 1991). Overall, the Japanese press coverage tended to be regretful and critical of the Japanese government's easy compromise. Of the five articles, three articles argued that MITI had been worried too much about the sentiment of Congress, and that it had allowed US to get the upper-hand in the negotiations. The U.S. press. coverage, on the other hand, neither supported nor disapproved of the U.S. government's decision to extend the ST A, except one article titled "Don't renew the semiconductor cartel" (Wall Street Journal, May 20, 1991). Business Cooperation There is one theme that both the U.S. and Japanese mentioned frequently and positively: How progress had been made in increasing joint production ("design-ins") and technological cooperation since the 1986 STA was concluded. 52

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Seven articles in the Japanese coverage, mostly features, referred to the technological cooperation. Six of the Japanese articles touted the efforts of the Japanese users (electronics companies) to incorporate more foreign chips in their products. Five U.S. articles either talked about or quoted industry officials talking about Japanese companies' changing attitude toward more cooperation. The only difference between the U.S. and some of the Japanese articles expressed opinions regarding business cooperation, whereas all the U.S. accounts merely stated that Japanese corporations had been making efforts to be cooperative. The opinions expressed in the Japanese articles reflected the perspective of Japanese government officials: The initial position of the Japanese government in the STA negotiations was to refuse to set the market share target since the progress had been made in technological cooperation (Nikkei March 18, 1991; Nikkei March 21, 1991). The Japanese officials had stated that rather than setting an import target, a better approach to solve the U.S.-Japan semiconductor trade friction was increasing joint ventures. The Japanese articles tended to interpret Japanese companies' increasing efforts toward cooperation and joint development as something that could take the place of the ST A and as evidence that market forces were moving in the right direction. Some articles went so far as to say that measuring the market share would become increasingly "futile" as two nations' industries became more integrated and "the difference between foreign and Japanese chips became more ambiguous" (Nikkei May 14, 1991; Asahi May 17, 1991). These arguments for the merits of technological cooperation also implied that now that the Japanese companies had 53

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made efforts in technological cooperation, the American companies should also make efforts in terms of competitiveness. Implications for the Future The fmal part of this section compares U.S. and Japanese press coverage regarding the implications of the ST A. The mere fact that a number of analysis and features were written in the Japanese newspapers suggests that the Japanese press felt a strong need for sending the alann somehow to the people. Specifically, there were twelve articles, including editorials, in which various opinions regarding the STA were expressed. U.S. press coverage, on the other hand, hardly considered the implications of the STAat all. No editorials or opinions were written. Among the Japanese articles, the most frequently appearing theme was the implication of the STA for contributing to a deterioration in U.S.-lapan relations. Eleven articles warned that the STA would be likely to create a future conflict due to a disagreement over Japan's commitment to the market share goal and due to the use of different formulas by each country. Without exception, the Japanese press predicted that some kind of conflict was inevitable. Typical examples of headlines for these articles were "The seed of future conflicts has been planted" (Nikkei, June 6, 1991) and "The 1991 ST A will rekindle friction over the interpretation of the share goal" (Nikkei. June 9, 1991). In the U.S. press, no articles expressed this type of concern for future conflicts The Japanese press' inclination to focus on potential conflicts was also evident from the quick reaction of the press to a sign of misunderstanding by the United Statesofthe provisions of the STA. The U.S. negotiators and industry 54

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officials publicly stated at a news conference on June 6, 1991, that the United States would use their own standard (despite the fact that the ST A stipulated that the market share would be measured by using both the U.S. and Japanese formulas). In Japan, their comments made immediate news in three of the Japanese newspapers. It was newsworthy for the Japanese press because their comments made clear that the SIA's understanding was different from the Japanese government's and thus confmned Japanese concern for future conflicts. In the U.S. press, the same press conference was reported only by Washington Post (June 7, 1991, Gl), and very differently, with a plenty of optimism. This article stressed the welcoming and friendly mood of the U.S. and Japanese industry leaders and their strong support for the new pact. One of the quotes in the U.S. article by industry officials, was "the amity ... augurs well for the success of the new pact." Another article reported the displeasure of the Japanese industry with the fmal form of the STA. However, all newspapers failed to describe the conflict between different interpretations of the STA, which became apparent soon after it was agreed upon. Another concern expressed by the Japanese pre8s was the chance of the ST A's becoming "a bad precedent" for future bilateral trade agreements. Four of the Japanese articles expressed such concern while no U.S. articles did so. The four articles were worried about the possibility of the ST A becoming some kind of a model: that the United States would request trade agreements similar to the ST A in other sectors. These articles revealed the opposition of the Japanese press to more agreements along the lines of the ST A. In contrast, U.S. press coverage generally did not show any such inclination. Only one article mentioned that the ST A was 55

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seen as the most critical of all the talks between the two countries "because it is expected to serve as a model" for other talks (The New York Times May 23, 1991, D2). Ironically, the Japanese press had been careful not to give such expectation to the U.S. negotiators. Finally, some Japanese articles were more intense than others in expressing concerns. One of the Japanese articles pointed out that the STA was unfair in that it was a "special accord in which only one party is obliged [to make efforts to import more foreign chips]" (Nikkei, Evening, May 13, 1991) Similarly, other articles stressed that Japan had given preferential treatment only to the U.S. firms, excluding other nations. What the Japanese press called a special nature of the agreement was emphasized by citing the negative reaction of the European Community (EC). Two articles were devoted to EC officials' complaints about the aspect of "an exclusive cartel" between the two countries and their request to Japan to extend the same treatment to European countries (Yomiuri. MayS, 1991, June 1991). Conclusion Both a general comparison and a point-by-point comparison revealed distinct differences between U.S. and Japanese press coverage. Regarding the general characteristics of the articles, first, it was found that the Japanese press carried various types of articles on the STA while the U.S. press carried only straight news and analysis. Second, there were more articles on the ST A in the Japanese press. The difference in the total number of articles was partly due to a large number of the Japanese articles that were short and focused on one subject. 56

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Many subjects that were covered by the Japanese press during the negotiations were ignored by the U.S. press, but some of these subjects were incorporated into longer news articles in the U.S. press. In providing background on the STA, the U.S. press covered various topics more evenly and included more of them than the Japanese press did. The description in the U.S. articles was more detailed than the Japanese press. Rather than providing extensive background, the Japanese press devoted its space to future implications of the ST A. The results from the point-by-point comparison of the themes in each press coverage also revealed some differences. Regarding the issue of semiconductor trade conflict, the Japanese press tended to blame the United States and frequently raised the issue of competitiveness. The U.S. press, on the other hand, hardly made any analytical comments on trade conflict, nor blamed Japan for its business behavior. With respect to the ST A itself, the Japanese press generally expressed negative opinions and tended to regret that the Japanese government compromised on the terms as they stood. They almost always explained the features of the ST A as managed trade and pointed out that such an approach violated free trade principles. few U.S. articles attempted to defme the STAin terms of free-trade principles or managed trade approach. Most U.S. articles reported the details of the provisions without expressing writers' views. As for the implications of the ST A, the I apanese articles often expressed concerns for potential that they thought were likely to occur, based on the different interpretations of the obligations in_the STA. Some opinions expressed in the Japanese press were intense. In contrast, hardly any U.S. articles gave considerations. 57

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Overall, the Japanese articles tended to express similar views concerning the ST A including sources of trade conflict, managed trade, and future implications. The examination of the Japanese press accounts suggested the existence of a framework shared by most Japanese reporters that was at the heart of all the views expressed. This analytical framework can be summarized as follows: the press tended to give a negative evaluation of the STA because it promoted managed trade and a global cartel. The press then explained why Japan agreed to the ST A although the agreement was something the U.S. wanted but Japan did not. In the U;S. press, whether or not there was a commonly shared framework (or policy assumptions) is not clear, partly because most U.S. articles included only objective accounts of the issues without expressing views. U.S. press coverage included fewer comments or arguments than Japanese press coverage. The U.S. press was more informed of various facts regarding the provisions and each analytical comments focused on various issues and was different from each other. There was no indication that the reporters shared the same assumptions and were inclined to be partial to the U.S. government. Except for the two articles that explicitly expressed views, U.S. press coverage presented the case of the STAin a descriptive manner, free from judgment or blame. The relatively neutral accounts and the lack of partial opinions in the U.S. press contrasted strikingly with the engaged coverage by the Japanese press. The following chapter seeks to identify the factors that account for these differences. 58

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CHAPTER FOUR DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS Introduction Substantial differences were found between the United States and Japan in the press coverage of the ST A. The general tone of the coverage was "removed" in the U.S. newspapers and highly "engaged" in the Japanese newspapers. As for views and analysis on specific themes, the U.S. press presented varied but neutral views, while the Japanese press expressed relatively uniform views revealing a shared framework. This chapter discusses what factors contributed to these differences. The first section briefly summarizes how the press in both country generally treated the news differently. The second section then examines what factors contributed to the differences found in this study. The factors are in the main divided in two categories: those specific to the case at hand and those related to inherent differences between the U.S. and Japan. The latter category includes: the respective international positions of the two countries, and cultural and institutional differences between the two nations and between the U.S. and Japanese press. Finally, this chapter concludes with the discussion of the significance of the study. 59

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How the News Was Treated Differentially While various analytical comments were made, the U.S. press generally remained a neutral observer in their analysis of the situation.12 The analyses in the U.S. press, whose focus was varied with each other, tended to be impartial. The general approach was not to take sides and to present the STA in a descriptive manner. They tended to neutrally describe various aspects of the STA and the positive reaction of the industry instead of closely following the contentious negotiation process.13 With the exception of a few articles, in which the writer was critical of the U.S. government, the U.S. press did not make any arguments, either for or against the STA. Neither editorials nor opinions appeared in the U.S. press. The limited engagement of the news suggests that the U.S. press treated the news not so much as a case of a U.S.-Japan trade dispute, but as a case of routine business news. In contrast, the Japanese press reported the event as major international news. The Japanese press expressed their own views in a greater number of opinion/analysis articles. These views were relatively uniform and partial. Analytical comments were generally negative about the STA, as they invariably defmed it as an example of managed trade and, as such, going against free-trade 12 However, the U.S. press occasionally carried a critical account of its own government or was sympathetic to the Japanese (Washington Post May 9, 1991, B9; Wall Street Journal May 20, 1991, A18). 13 Although U.S. press coverage focused on a variety of issues, it did not tell the whole story. Without noting either the negative reactions by the Japanese industry (except in the Wall Street Journal) or Japan's widespread concern for future conflicts resulting from misunderstandings, the U.S. press conveyed to the readers the impression that the STA would be implemented smoothly, which was not the case. 60

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principles. Japanese press coverage failed to give equal attention to each provision of the STA. The focus of the analysis articles was largely placed on the market share provision and hardly any coverage was provided on anti-dumping measures. Also, while it provided an extensive industry background, Japanese press coverage did not address the issue of often-criticized Japanese trade practices. Apparently, the Japanese press shared the consistent claim Qf the Japanese government that the door to the Japanese market was open and that Japan was not at fault. They tended to point out that the solution lay in improving the competitiveness of U.S. manufactures rather than in enforcing the STA. In short, these fmdings suggest that Japanese reporters reflected the position of the Japanese government concerning the trade conflict with the United States and framed the STA based on that position. The fmdings regarding the tendency of the Japanese press to blame the U.S., by frequently referring to "competitiveness" in their analysis, replicate the pattern in 1986 observed by Fukushima (1992). A similar inclination to blame the lack of American competitiveness for the problems was also found in the study (1993) on the trade negotiations in 1989 and 1990. Budner (19) stated that regardless of the issue at hand, the Japanese press seemed to "portray the United States as the one at fault." This study of the STA supports his hypothesis. As for U.S. press coverage, the findings were significantly different from those in the previous cases; U.S. press coverage of the 1991 STA displayed no inclination to blame Japan. Hardly any blame was ascribed to Japanese trade practices. In Budner's (1993, 23) study, however, both the U.S. and Japanese presses indicated a tendency to picture the other country negatively and to blame 61

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each other. Similarly, Fukushima (1992) observed that the U.S. press expressed critical views on the Japanese trade patterns during the 1985-1986 negotiations of semiconductor trade. Tenns such as "unfair trade practices" that had appeared in the past, however, were rarely used by the reporters in this study even though the U.S. government officials continued to mention them. The U.S. press in 1991 did not even rehash the side-letter controversy, which offered perfect material to attack Japan with the charge of unfulfilled commitment. Factors Contributing to Differences Detached vs. Engaged The different reactions (generally detached coverage by the U.S. press and generally engaged coverage of the Japanese press) can be explained by the attributes of the specific case at hand as well as by the different respective international positions of the two nations. The Attributes of the Specific Case at Hand. This study has found that U.S. press coverage of the 1991 STA was "detached," unlike the past patterns, while Japanese press coverage was as engaged as in the previous cases. The difference in the degree of engagement and in the tone of press coverage between the U.S. and Japanese press can be seen as reflecting a difference in the element of conflict involved in the STA, as perceived by each press. Many international events involve a conflict or crisis situation when they make news. Studies show that whether or not the news includes the element of conflict affects the newsworthiness of the situation; the more controversial or unpleasant the situation is, the more 62

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newsworthy the news becomes (Mowlana 1984, 88). This argument may explain some of the above-mentioned differences in the press coverage of the STA between the United States and Japan. To put Mow lana's statement into the context of the press coverage of the ST A, the more controversial and the higher the stakes, the more engaged the press coverage becomes and the more opinion articles will be written. For the United States, the stakes were not so high. The STA was an act which was directed at Japanese companies, and the United States was the. enforcer. Apparently, the STA was interpreted by the U.S. press as an agreement simply to increase the business prospects of the semiconductor and related industries. Conflict factors seem also to explain why the 1991 press coverage was more neutral and detached than the 1986 press coverage. For the United States, there were fewer sources of conflict with Japan in 1991 than in 1986 when the original STA was concluded. In 1986, the situation involved the crisis of the U.S. semiconductor industry which was losing the market to the Japanese counterpart. The Reagan Administration thus had put the highest priority in solving semiconductor trade friction. By 1991, however, the Japanese trade pattern had changed for the better; exports to Japan were gradually picking up. Moreover, there was no more dumping of semiconductors on which to base the charge of unfair practices. The U.S. government, as well as the industry, thought that the 1986 ST A had fmally began to take effect. In the absence of a conflictual situation for the United States in 1991, as there had been in 1986, the news of the STA may not have been as newsworthy as it would have been otherwise. Reflecting the actual situation at hand, the news of the was presented less dramatically by the 63

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U.S. press. An additional factor might have been the fact that the 1991 STA was just a "renewal." The U.S. press might have expected the STA to be renewed. In contrast, the Japanese press described the semiconductor trade conflict as symbol ofU.S.-Japan trade friction. The press accounts suggest that the Japanese press perceived the news not as an independent case, but as one of a series of trade agreements in high-tech industry. They explained that any "market share agreement" on semiconductors could affect the entire range of industries. To the Japanese press' understanding, the STA represented a conflict with much higher stakes than for the United States. Thus, the news was more controversial and more newsworthy for the Japanese press than for the U.S. press. The STA involved several significant elements of conflict for the Japanese. First of all, the STA required Japan to make efforts to increase the foreign share of the semiconductor trade to a level which had never been attained before. The ST A, therefore, meant a conflict with vested interests in Japan, since Japanese companies were obliged to change their business patterns .. In addition, while the U.S. press might have regarded the STAas just a "renewal," the Japanese press apparently did not see it that way. The stakes were as high in 1991 as in 1986 for Japan for at least three reasons. First, unlike the 1986 STA, in which the market share was only mentioned in an unsigned side-letter to the agreement, the 1991 ST A, with specific mention of the market share in its provisions, was thought to have stronger enforcement provisions than 1986 STA. Second, Japan was in fact in a "lose-lose" situation. On one hand, the Japanese government did not want to and did not intend to renew the 1986 STA. There was concern about retaliation against Japan for not meeting the market share 64

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goal required by the STA. On the other hand, the Japanese government was facing the situation in which, without renewing the ST A and in the absence of increased U.S. exports, Japan would have been retaliated against anyway for unfair trade. practices according to the U.S. trade law. Third, the fact that the Japanese government's initial position was not to renew the ST A probably added to the newsworthiness. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Japanese press reacted with emotion to the fact that the intention of the United States to renew the ST A prevailed. Japanese press coverage implied a sense of frustration at the one-sided approach by the U.S. government. The Respective International Positions. The Japanese press thought the stakes were all the more high because they were worried about the implications of the STA for future conflicts. The Japanese press tended to associate the vague provisions of the ST A with possible future conflicts and to worry that such conflicts would harm broader bilateral relations. The Japanese press interpreted the STAas if the future of broad U.S.-Japan relations hinged upon the STA. The Japanese press' frame of reference on the STA went well beyond the issue of semiconductor trade itself. This anticipation of conflict with the United States also seems to help explain why the ST A was treated not as a case of routine business conflict but as a case of international conflict and why the Japanese press was so engaged. This fmding is generally in line with Budner's proposition ( 1993, 17) that there is an inherent attitude of the Japanese press to see any conflict as part of the whole relationship and that "the modal arguments in Japanese coverage tended to stress the importance of the United States-Japan relationship." In contrast, no 65

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U.S. articles included an analysis that linked the STA to the broad U.S.-Japan relationship or to future conflicts. The frame of reference of the U.S. press was limited to the issue of semiconductor trade per se. These differences in the frame of reference, which contributed to the different reaction of the press, may be ascribed to the respective international positions of the United States and Japan. As the frequent and almost automatic association of a specific issue (the STA) to a broader diplomatic issue suggests, the Japanese press and the Japanese government, were keenly aware of Japan being a subordinate partner in a most vital relationship with the United States. There seems to be a shared sense of vulnerability among the Japanese officials and the press since Japan relies upon the United States not only for its exports, but also for its national security. As a result, Japanese press coverage of friction with the United States never fails to be highly newsworthy almost always takes precedence over other international news in the Japanese press (Ando 1991). Thus press coverage of U.S.-Japan trade is often accompanied by editorials and opinion articles. In the U.S. press, the reverse does not seem to be the case; the U.S. press does not seem to be preoccupied with Japan issues. The United States is generally engaged in numerous foreign policy conflicts and Japan is not the only country with which the United States has a vital interest. Reporters assigned to cover Japan are usually assigned to other East Asian countries simultaneously. Furthermore, economic issues themselves are generally given a low priority by the U.S. press. Therefore, for Japan-related news to become more newsworthy, additional factors such as a greater sense of conflict or higher stakes than were felt in the case 66

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of the STA seem to be necessary. If an issue poses an imminent threat to the U.S. national interest, it would certainly increase the sense of conflict. U.S. press coverage of the purchases of Columbia Pictures and Rockefeller Center by the Japanese corporations, or the joint development of the FSX fighter plane may be regarded as such examples. In these cases, a widespread concern, resulting from the sense of threat, seems to have contributed to engaging the public and increasing the level of their interest in these issues. Press coverage is said to reflect the interests and preferences of the audience due to the press' commercial nature (Soesilo and W asbum 1994, 379). In order to increase the size of audience, the press is likely to cover at greater length the topics in which the public is interested. Reflecting the interest of the public, U.S. press coverage of these cases was more engaged and included a number of editorials and opinions (Budner 1993). The public's familiarity with Columbia Pictures and Rockefeller Center seems to have reinforced the sense of threat. Perhaps it was more of a symbolic threat than a substantial threat. It is likely that these events were all the more newsworthy because they were symbolic issues of the trend in the late 1980s. Although the Japanese semiconductor trade had posed a serious threat to the U.S. industry, perception of the threat was apparently limited to the industry and the U.S. government officials and was not conveyed to the general public. The ST A did not attract the attention of the public partly because of the unfamiliarity of the issue, even though the U.S. government regarded the STAas a highly important guidepost for future agreements (cf. Chapter Two). Additionally, the low level of interest by the press as well as the public seems to suggest that there is another factor affecting the U.S. press' engagement: the political environment. 67

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Political heat surrounding U.S.-Japan relations had cooled down substantially since the mid-to late 1980s. Uniformity vs. Diversity in Press Accounts The examination of the Japanese press accounts suggests the existence of a frame of reference shared by most Japanese reporters that was at the heart of all the views expressed. They tended to frame the issues at hand in a similar manner. The press generally gave a negative evaluation of the ST A because it promoted managed trade. The press then explained why Japan agreed to the STA, although the agreement was something the U.S. wanted but Japan did not. In the U.S. press, there was no indication that the reporters shared the same assumptions. The reporters' approach to the issues at hand varied from one another. Apparently there was no commonly shared framework underlying the STA. Each analytical comment focused on various issues and was different from each other. Unlike U.S. press coverage on military affair:s, there was no indication of "chauvinistic framing" (Graber 1993, 383). The following section discusses what factors contributed to these differences. I argue that these differences are not necessarily unique to the STA but are commonly observed in press coverage of other U.S.-Japan trade issues, and that the differences are systematic, deriving from different cultural and institutional systems. Cultural Factors. The similarity of views expressed in the Japanese press can be attributed to the Japanese culture, in which people, especially the elite (including the government officials and the press journalists), generally espouse 68

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similar worldviews. To have a common view or similar fixed ideas seems to be especially the case when it comes to trade policy. In many respects, Japanese press coverage on trade with the United States seems to share similar characteristics with American press coverage on military affairs. According to Graber (1993): U.S. press coverage on military affairs is predominantly written from pro-American, Cold War perspective in which any country is classified as either friend or foe (393). In foreign news coverage, stories tend to be written from an American perspective that reflect the current administration's foreign policy assumptions and the American public's stereotyped views of the world (396). Just as any military affairs are instantly associated with U.S. national interests in the U.S. press, any trade issues seem automatically to be associated with Japan's national interest in the Japanese press. When the news is conceptualized as largely a conflict between the two nations, as in the case of J apariese press coverage of the ST A, one-sided argument following the govemment's/administration's position seems likely to dominate the coverage. In fact, the Japanese articles on the ST A were written predominantly from a pro lapanese point of view. Apparently, Japanese press coverage presented uniform views reflecting the trade policy assumptions of their government and stereotyped views of the United States prevailed in Japan. Another factor contributing to the relative uniformity of views in Japanese press coverage seems to be a sense of pride in Japanese business widely shared by the Japanese public. As discussed in Chapter Three, one of the common features in the Japanese accounts was the tendency of the Japanese press to frame the STAas a matter of competitiveness. This tendency seems to be rooted in the fact that the 69

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Japanese people, particularly the elite, are as one in holding a strong sense of pride in Japan's economic power. Thus, to a certain degree, for the Japanese press to talk about competitiveness was not only reflecting the government position but also expressing their own feelings about the strength of Japan. A shared sense of pride seems to explain why, in 1991, the Japanese press pointed out the U.S. lack of competitiveness as the cause of trade friction just as they did in 1986. Moreover, because such pride tends to give rise to a sense of "our" industry, Japanese press coverage of the STA conveyed the impression that the country was as one in defense of the Japanese interests. Since the sense of pride in their economy is unlikely to diminish in the near future, the Japanese press coverage of trade will probably continue to boast about the competitiveness of the Japanese industries. U.S. press coverage on trade policy focused on more various issues and included more divergent opinions. The press accounts tended to be free from stereotyping or patterned arguments written from an American perspective, which suggests that there were no widely shared trade policy assumptions within the U.S. government regarding the ST A. This is not surprising. In the absence of predominant policy assumptions in the area of trade, press coverage of trade policy is likely to be diverse, reflecting the actual perspectives of journalists themselves. In this sense, the nature of foreign "economic" news coverage seems to be different from that of press coverage on other foreign policy including military affairs in that the former is less bound by stereotyped views of the world or the administration's policy assumptions. Moreover, the U.S. press has traditionally 70

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been distrustful of the government as well as of business and, thus, less likely to toe the official line, if there is any, than is the Japanese press. Another factor that contributed to the diverse coverage seems to be the fact that in the United States, there seems to be less of a sense of "our" American industry among journalists. Japanese journalists tend to argue in a uniform way, especially when it comes to economic issues, because of their shared pride in Japanese industry. This is not the case with the United States. American journalists are less likely to argue in support of U.S. industries simply because they are "American." Therefore, it seems rather natural for American reporters to take an independent position regarding trade issues.14 Institutional Factors: the Press and the Government. The relatively uniform accounts in the Japanese articles can also be attributed in part to an institutional factor: the relationship betWeen the press and the government. IS The similarity of the arguments and the views expressed regarding managed trade, business cooperation, and concern for future conflicts implies the use of the same source: the reporters' clubs. According to Ellis Krauss (1993a, 36), there are reporters' clubs in all the major ministries of the Japanese government and the reporters from the national newspapers who are assigned to each ministry operate in the context of 14 However, in the U.S. press, there may be an increasing attitudinal homogeneity. It has been claimed that American reporters tend to share similar perspectives on economic issues, especially in elite newspaper organizations. Byron L. Dorgan (1994) states that U.S. press coverage is losing balance as more and more journalists are coming from a similar background and their articles tend to make one-sided arguments (i.e. for free-trade) reflecting their shared values. 15 Karel van Wolferen (1990, 42-3) states, "Japanese editors themselves are part of this informal political structure and where issues cut too close to the interests of the Japanese sociopolitical elite, the news media are not sufficiently independent to offer a variety of views." 71

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such clubs. Among the most important consequences of reporters' clubs, Krauss states, is the dependency of the reporter on his official sources (ministry officials). While there is merit in being able to collect detailed information under this system, there is also the consequence of getting tied-up at the club without having the time to seek outside sources to contradict official sources. The reporter's close relationship with MITI officials developed through the reporters' clubs clearly affected the formation of uniform views within the Japanese press. The Japanese press accounts suggest that MITI's strong feelings toward. t4e STA -how one-sidedly the STA requires obligations to Japan-along with the significance MITI attached to the STA, were conveyed to the reporters. MlTI officials had said early in 1991 that it was against the renewal because they felt that the provision of the 1986 ST A regarding the market share had been "abused" by the U.S. government (Nikkei April2, 1991). Annoyed by the consistent U.S. pressure on the Japanese government to increase U.S. market share, coupled with the imposition of the trade sanctions, MITI had been reacting to the 1986 STA with increasing frustration (Kuroda 1989). MITI also believed that the vague provisions the market share would likely cause yet another dispute between the two nations. Sharing MITI's frustration, the Japanese press reacted to the ST A with a stronger sense of commitment to the issue in comparison to the U.S. press, just as the MITI officials did. The fmdings also suggest that the press interpreted the implications of the STA based on the information and perspectives provided by MITI. The views and opinions expressed in the Japanese articles in fact mirrored those of MITI officials. MITI characterized the STA as a managed trade agreement because of the market 72

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share target, which they argued was contrary to the principles of free trade policy and contrary to the provisions of GAIT. :MITI's preoccupation with the term, "managed trade," was reflected in Japanese press coverage. The term "managed trade" appeared far more frequently in Japanese press coverage than in U.S. press coverage. As detailed in Chapter Three, Japanese journalists argued against the managed trade approach, following the official line of the Japanese government; the press argued that managed trade as practiced in the ST A was deplorable because it promoted a global cartel. Another example of the press advocatiJ:tg MITrs position was the frequent of business cooperation which had been taking place between the United States and Japan. Again, the Japanese articles shared the perspective of Japanese government officials that increasing joint ventures was a better approach than setting an import target through the STA. The Japanese press argued that technological cooperation was a more practical and quicker way to solve U.S.. Japan semiconductor trade friction. The Japanese articles tended to make much of Japanese companies' efforts to increase technological cooperation to satisfy the United States. While fundamentally adopting the assumptions of :MITI and defining the issue from :MITI' s point of view, however, the Japanese press was not completely supportive of the position of the Japanese government. The press accounts suggest that the Japanese press was more critical of the contents of the ST A than Japanese government officials were. At least in public, MITI praised the fmal form of the STA,justas the U.S. government and industry officials did. The Japanese press, on the other hand, never explicitly supported the STA. Rather, the 73

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Japanese press generally regretted that the negotiations ended the way they did, with Japan's compromise "in return for maintaining good relations" (Nikkei May 13, 1991; Nikkei June 6, 1991). The conciliatory attitude of the Japanese government as opposed to the press may be understood, however, by considering the utmost priority the Japanese officials place on maintaining the good relationship. They were keenly aware of the vulnerability of Japan in light of its reliance on the U.S. market. Mter all, the Japanese press is less constrained by diplomatic obligations than the Japanese government and was situated to express views critical of the fmal form of the ST A more freely. Although there was some blame placed on the U.S., there was never an explicit protest statement (something resembling "U.S. bashing") against the U.S. approach to the STA. Rather, criticism was expressed as frustration over the one-sided nature of the provisions and as concerns for the possible implications of the STA. The press accounts suggest the reporters shared the notion that the STA was inevitable, though unfortunate, because of Japan's international position vis-a-vis the U.S. The wide range of subjects being covered and the various views contained in U.S. press coverage can also be attributed to an institutional factor: the circumstances under which American reporters work. According to Krauss (1993a, 35), American reporters maintain wide-ranging relationships with their sources which include those outside of government. Without getting caught up with the relationship with the government officials, U.S. reporters are encouraged to go to various sources. Consequently, more diverse interpretations emerge from various sources. One example of diverse sources can be seen in the accounts 74

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regarding managed trade: the U.S. accounts were not in agreement on whether the agreement had free-trade or managed trade implications. The Bush administration had denied that the ST A pursued the managed trade approach and was not inclined to use the term. Some articles followed this position and did not use the term managed trade. But some articles interpreted the STA in a similar manner as the Japanese press by referring to the STA as a "dreadful experiment in managed trade" and as an example of "high-tech protectionism" (Wall Street Journal May 20, 1991, A18). Besides the various sources upon which American reporters rely, the fact that the U.S. government itself is not a monolith institution also contributes to the diversity of views in press coverage. In foreign economic policy, there is no single official line nor authority that the press could follow. Foreign economic policy, especially trade policy with Japan, often involves a situation where the executive branch and Congress tend to be divided on the issue because of their different interests. The president makes a decision based on overall national interests, while members of Congress tend to do so largely based on their own local interests. Accordingly, while the executive branch generally supports and adheres to free trade principles, Congress is a rather reluctant supporter of free trade and occasionally leans towards protectionist policies. In these circumstances, reporters who cover trade policy are likely encounter various points of views that exist within the government. The STA represented a typical example of such division within the U.S. government. Deputy Trade Representative Linn Williams described the 1991 STA as "a careful balancing of conflicting interests not only between the U.S. and Japan, 75

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but also among different U.S. policy makers and between the U.S. semiconductor and computer industries" QYall Street Journal June 5, 1991, A2). Not every aspect of the STA agreed with the free-trade principles which the U.S. government endorsed. The Bush Administration was also reported to have been reluctant to renew the ST A until the Gulf War reminded the President of the importance of semiconductors in national security (Christian Science Monitor June 6, 1991, 4). As the anti-Japanese mood in Congress escalated following the Gulf War, the administration was reported to have yielded to the pressure by Congress and the SIA to renew the STA (Nikkei May 13, 1991, Evening). Thus, the diversity of views within the government may also explain why U.S. press coverage is more varied than Japanese press coverage. Additionally, the inclusion of a variety of views in the U.S. press could also be attributed to the dateline-where the article was written--as well as to contributions of non-staff writers. Even when the STA-related articles were printed on the same date, their dateline varied. Under the circumstances, each writer probably had to use different sources. In contrast, the Japanese articles from different newspapers had the same dateline. The fact that Japanese writers from different newspapers were in a close proximity while covering the news can also be assumed to have contributed to the similar accounts in the Japanese newspapers. Conclusion The news of the renewal of the ST A was treated as a "major conflict" by the Japanese press and as relatively "routine business" by the U.S. press. These differences were attributed to the specific stakes at hand and to the respective 76

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international positions of the U.S. and Japan. The Japanese press perceived the stakes involved in the STA as so high that they treated the news as a major conflict. In addition, the STA received major press coverage in Japan because it was related to the U.S. In contrast, U.S. press coverage was limited since the stakes were not high for the U.S.; the STA was a renewal and there was less conflict involved in it. Moreover, news related to Japan does not automatically become a major story in the U.S. press. Thus, the news was treated as low-profile and as routine business news. The point-by-point comparison indicated that Japanese press coverage expressed relatively unifonn views and shared a similar frame of reference while U.S. press coverage was free from flxed views and varied in terms of its and framing. These differences between American and Japanese press coverage were ascribed to systematic differences, including institutional and cultural systems in each country. These reactions of the U.S. press suggest that in covering the STA, American reporteJ;"S generally enjoyed autonomy from the government. The issue of trade with Japan was perceived in various ways reflecting reporters' own points of view. The conditions contributing to the U.S. press' autonomy are both cultural, i.e., lack of dominating assumptions within the U.S. government as well as among the general public with respect to the issue being covered, and institutional, i.e., use of various sources. American reporters tend not to share a homogeneous perspective on trade policy as Americans. In addition, the fact that in the absence of a crisis situation, reporters are not so dependent on government offlcials as sources also contribute to the diversity of press accounts. These two major factors are intertwined and enforce each other to contribute to increasing U.S. 77

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press autonomy. This study thus indicates that U.S. press coverage is systematically more diverse than Japanese press coverage. Additionally, the fmd.ings also suggests that trade policy coverage in the United States may be inherently different from military affairs coverage, which is said to be invariably pro-American (see Chapter One). There are possibly two reasons for this difference. First, news information about foreign affairs is often so tightly controlled, that reporters may have to rely on government sources. Information relating to a trade agreement is more readily available. Second, reporters are more likely to share the foreign policy assumptions of the U.S. government, especially when the issues being covered relate to Communist countries or the Middle East. Most of the past studies focused on press coverage of the issues related to these countries. One of the purposes of this study was to explore the degree of the media's contribution to the creation of the negative images of the United States in Japan and of Japan in the United States. This study indicates some evidence of negativism in Japanese press coverage and virtually none in American press coverage. These findings parallel those in the previous studies regarding the Japanese press, but were substantially different regarding the U.S. press. In contrast to the past findings, the U.S. press was relatively free from negative accounts of Japan, and there was no indication of chauvinism or partisanship. U.S. press coverage included no blame of Japan, not even of its trade practices. As. mentioned earlier, such neutral coverage of the STA is attributed to the specific attributes of the case, namely, relatively low stakes involved in the 78

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STA. However, it may also be ascribed to a relatively low interest in the issue by the press. The difference between 1986 and 1991 suggests that the level of engagement by the u.s. press may also be determined by the political environment. Trade-related news seems to gain in importance and newsworthiness depending in part on the politics of the issue. Once an economic issue gets politicized to a degree where it has caught the attention of a large segment of the public, routine business news including trade policy may become partisan. In this sense, the fact that in the midand late 1980s, the issue of semiconductor trade with Japan was exceedingly politicized along with other trade disputes should be noted. The political heat surrounding U.S.-lapan relations hitd subsided by 1991. Therefore, how much of the objectivity observed in this study was due to a genuine objectivity of the U.S. press, and how much was due to a limited engagement of the U.S. press (U.S. treatment of the STAas a case of routine business news) is difficult to determine based solely on this study. A fair judgment is especially difficult since the U.S. articles did not include editorials and opinion pieces, where critical views are likely to be expressed. Accordingly, further research should be conducted to compare U.S.-Japanese press coverage on a more "politically" high-proflle case to see .whether U.S. press coverage maintains objectivity. Concerning Japanese press coverage, relatively uniform views are in part attributed to attitudinal homogeneity. In this study, Japanese reporters appear to have shared the same perspectives on trade policy among themselves as well as with the government officials and the general public. In addition, perhaps more 79

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importantly, similarity of press coverage may also be attributed to the fact that Japanese reporters tend to share the same official news sources and follow the official line. The press' close-knit relationship with the government, especially with ministry officials, is one of the key determinants of how the press framed the news in a similar fashion in regard to the STAin 1991. In this sense, Japanese press coverage is constrained by institutional factors to a greater degree than American press coverage. This study generally supports the view as presented by Budner (1993, 19) and others in that Japanese press coverage reflects the position of the Japanese government. The Japanese press in general presented the case as it was understood by the Japanese government officials. According to Clyde V. Prestowitz, Jr.(1988, 144-45), former Deputy Commerce Secretary and President of the Economic Strategy Institute, "the Japanese press is not noted for investigative reporting, and the ministries are often able to use the press as a way of molding public consensus .... Their job is to create the national consensus for the measures the various ministries propose. As if to support his view, in the case of the STA, the Japanese press interpreted the implications of the STAas the Japanese government did and shared the concern of the Japanese government in renewing the "problematic" agreement. The Japanese press seems to have expressed the following consensus: the Japanese industry has done what could be done since 1986 and thus, the United States is asking Japan to achieve something beyond its control in 1991. It is not apparent, however, to what degree the Japanese press is used by the ministries and/or constrained by the system. On the contrary, as stated earlier, 80

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while basically reflecting the position of the Japanese government and accepting their assumptions, the Japanese press occasionally expressed their own views and even became critical of the Japanese government's handling of the case. Specifically, they expressed regret over the compromise the government made in accepting what many regarded as a managed trade approach. The Japanese press implied that the Japanese government had been too conciliatory toward the United States. Their comments and arguments were in sharp contrast to the satisfaction (with the results of the negotiations) expressed in public by the Japanese officials, who not so long ago were also opposed to such an agreement. Hence, this study evidences another aspect of Japanese press: having an independent voice. According to Hiroshi Ando (1991), a former foreign correspondent for Am. the critical attitude of the Japanese press toward MITI's foreign policy is not unusual. Ando ( 157) states that the I apanese press has traditionally criticized the Japanese government's practice of kowtowing to the government in diplomacy, while ironically putting a disproportionate aniount of focus on U.S. news. If this is 3.J.so the case, what is the extent of the Japanese press' independence? In what situations does the Japanese press become less diplomatic and become critical of its government? Or rather, is there a tendency of the Japanese government to let the press do the tough talkirig while MITI itself puts on a friendly face to an important trade partner? These are the important questions for us to examine to further understand the features of Japanese press coverage. Now that the Japanese political configuration has been through a historical change, it is 81

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all the more important to reassess the Japanese press' relationship with the government as well as the level of independence of Japanese journalists. 82

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LIST OF REFERENCES Ando, Hiroshi. 1991. Nichibei Jouhou Masatsu. [U.S.-Japan information friction]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. Amo, Andrew. 1984a. Communication, conflict, and storylines: The news media as actors in a cultural context. In The news media in national and international conflict. ed. Andrew Amo and Wimal Dissanayake, 1-16. Boulder: Westview Press. 1984b. The news media as third parties in national and international conflict: Duobus litigantibus tertius gaudet. In The news media in national and international conflict. ed. Andrew Amo and Wimal Dissanayake, 229238. Boulder: Westview Press. Amo, Andrew and Wimal Dissanayake. ed. 1984. The news media in national and international conflict. Boulder: Westview Press. Asahi Shimbun. Balter, Michael. 1993. Does anyone get GATT? Columbia Journalism Review 32 (May-June): 46-49. Bergsten, C. Fred and Marcus Noland. 1993. Reconcilable difference?: U.S.-Japan economic conflict. Washington D. C.: Institute for International Economics. Berry, Nicholas 0. Foreign policy and the press: An analysis of the New York Times' coverage of U.S. foreign policy. New York, NY: Greenwood Press. Budner, Stanley. 1993. United States and Japanese newspaper coverage of friction between the two countries. In Communicating Across the Pacific. Missoula: The Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs. Christian Science Monitor. Destler, I.M. 1992. American trade politics. 2nd ed. Washington, D. C.: Institute for International Economics. Dorgan, Byron L. 1994. The NAFfA debate that never was. Columbia Journalism Review 33 (January/February): 47-49. Flamm, Kenneth. 1991. Making new rules: High-tech trade friction and the semiconductor industry. The Brookings Review 9 (Spring): 22-29. 83

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