Japan Fact-checks: Misinformation has no borders


Welcome to FIJ’s English FactChecks Report vol.12. This is a weekly report that comes in three parts consisting of Notable Case, Fact-checks at a glance, and Announcements & News. We’re taking a break from this week’s Notable Case. Thank you for your understanding.

Fact-checks at a glance

Misinformation that originated overseas and spread in Japan and/or abroad

This section contains fact-checks of misinformation that originated overseas and was spread in Japan, as well as misinformation about Japan that originated overseas and was spread abroad.

①InFact | Japan (August 06, 2020)

False: The herbicide caused the deer to be covered in boils

Explanation: A photo posted on Twitter in Japanese on July 19 that claimed a deer in the United States was covered in tumors or boils all over its body after eating grass and trees sprayed with Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup went viral. The photo had spread in the past in the U.S. and elsewhere, and Politifact conducted a fact check in 2018 and determined that the symptoms were caused by a virus common to deer in New York City. The claims of the post were thus determined to be false. In Fact reprinted the verified article with Politifact’s consent and has alerted its Japanese readers. Read the full article here (Japanese).


②InFact | Japan (August 06, 2020)

False: NHK shelved an interview with Taiwan’s former president Lee Teng-hui five years ago. 

Explanation: Taiwanese media reported that NHK had shelved an interview with Taiwan’s former president Lee Teng-hui taken five years ago due to pressure from mainland China and only aired it after his death. However, NHK had actually aired a portion of the exclusive interview with Lee Teng-hui, when he visited Japan in July 2015, on its satellite broadcast (BS1) on July 30 of that year. Although it was not broadcast on the terrestrial NHK general broadcast, it is not true that it was not broadcast at all and shelved. Read the full article here (Japanese / Mandarin Chinese ).

Check out the IFCN’s #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance database of 5,000+ fact-checks from more than 70 countries on the novel coronavirus. Other themes of factcheck can be found on each organization’s website.

Announcements & News

・We continue to welcome offers of factcheck collaboration.

・Please follow our English twitter account for the latest information! 

・For useful Japan-related information resources in English, check us out here.

Hope you stay well,

FIJ English team.