Once a staple of news junkies in Japan, muck-raking weekly magazines are on the ropes, as they struggle to adapt to the age of digital media and changing consumer habits. The oldest – Shukan Asahi – is the biggest victim yet of this shift in the media landscape, as Mark Schreiber explains in this month’s cover story. Elsewhere, Lawrence Repeta profiles the lone voice of dissent in Japan’s supreme court, and Peter McGill delves into the Unification Church scandal, as preparations begin for the trial of Shinzo Abe’s alleged killer. In their regular columns, Philip Brasor explains why, half a century after its release, Keiji Nakazawa’s A-Bomb manga Barefoot Gen continues to court controversy, while Eric Johnston reports from Hokkaido on the potentially far-reaching consequences of a local dispute over indigenous fishing rights. Andrew Horvat pays tribute to the respected Italian journalist and author Fernando Mezzetti, who has died aged 81, and Anthony Rowley looks at the prospects for the Japanese economy. Finally, I have been asked to remind readers that the caffeine drought in the FCCJ workroom has ended with the installation of a coffee machine – a gift from regular users Jake Adelstein and Georges Baumgartner. A cup of coffee is yours for a very reasonable ¥100.
Cover artwork: Julio Shiiki