Japan’s Dentsu PR firm just had its veil lifted on nuclear power and unfortunately is about to go global to protect Japan Inc.

Dentsu Building in Shiodome, Tokyo

Dentsu Building in Shiodome, Tokyo

Dentsu is the 5th largest PR firm in the world, it is Japanese and it totally dominates the media and how Japanese think with Dentsu having a virtual market monopoly on advertising in Japan. After the events of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011 it was Dentsu that controlled what Japanese people thought of the nuclear power industry.  Dentsu received large payments from the nuclear power industry in Japan including from TEPCO. Dentsu also has ties to the Panama Papers and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid and as is expected, there is very little if any reporting in the Japanese media or news about how powerful and influential Dentsu is. Dentsu is the parent company of Dentsu Aegis Network. Think of Dentsu as Japan Inc.

This is about to end as we get a good look at Dentsu for the first time when French journalist Mathieu Gaulène did this expose on the power the Japanese PR firm Dentsu has which was translated by Uchida Tatsuru. On June 3, 2016 Dentsu announced that it had appointed a global brand president to build the agency outside of the Asia-Pacific region (APAC). The idea behind the creation of Dentsu moving outside of Japan is to promote Japan’s mercantile trade through its powerful trading houses. Although it hasn’t been looked at too deeply, Japan’s powerful trading houses are probably behind Dentsu. This essay is worth reading to understand just how powerful Japan’s PR firm Dentsu is and how Dentsu pulls the strings behind Japan’s media. The article was translated into Japanese by and had over 70,000 views on twitter.

Source: The Asia-Pacific Journal

Introduction: How the Advertising Giant Dentsu Dominates Japanese Media Presentation on Nuclear Power?

Does the advertising giant Dentsu pull the strings of the Japanese media?

by Mathieu Gaulène

June 1, 2016

Volume 14 | Issue 11 | Number 5

Sachie Mizohata, Translation from French and Introduction

Original French article in INA Global

Japanese translation by Uchida Tatsuru (see May 15, 2016)

French journalist Mathieu Gaulène describes the business practices of Dentsu and its competitor Hakuhodo, the biggest and the second biggest advertising companies of Japan respectively. Specifically, it examines how their close relations to the media and the nuclear industry play out in the wake of the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Focusing Dentsu, Gaulène discusses how the marketing and public relations (PR) giant has dominated major media which large advertising contracts from the nuclear industry. The article is particularly timely as Dentsu unveils its deep ties to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid and the Panama Papers. Regrettably, however, with rare exceptions, there is little media coverage of the influence of Dentsu in mainstream Japanese newspapers and magazines.

According to the author, a partial translation of the French original was made by Kazparis (username), and quickly received more than 70,000 views on Twitter. Then, Uchida Tatsuru, a specialist in French literature, and HACK & SOCIETAS published two other Japanese translations. Soon after, Tokyo Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun published long articles about Dentsu. SN


Dentsu, the fifth largest communication group in the world, holds a large share of the Japanese advertising market, which impacts media freedom in Japan. This is particularly true in relation to the nuclear power industry.

– Dentsu and information on nuclear power

– Indirect pressures on press journalists

– The 2016 comeback of nuclear advertisements and the resignations of TV journalists

The moment remains famous. On the eve of Japan’s Upper House elections, former actor Yamamoto Taro, an anti-nuclear power candidate supported by no party, campaigned on Twitter to win an upper house seat in the Diet. Censored by the media, the young candidate, famous for his verve, had mainly campaigned against nuclear power, but he also called out the big media, accusing it of being in the pay of sponsors and thus of electric companies and of systematically censoring critical information on nuclear power.

A television channel granted him an interview at the end of a program, but only after presenting a journalist to defend his profession. On screen, the young senator was given only one minute to respond. “I will take a simple example. Food can now hold up to 100 becquerels per kilogram; that means even just via eating we are irradiated. It is never said on television… ” Yamamoto had to stop. The ending jingle started, and the presenter at the studio announced, bantering, that the show was over, before launching an advertising page.

The video, which was available online for 3 years, was removed on May 16, 2016 shortly after the publication of this article.

Read the entire article at The Asia-Pacific Journal.

Further reading:

Japanese government withheld report on Chernobyl disaster’s health effects