Japan Probe had an thoughtful post on one of Japanese TV’s more prominent fortune-tellers:
Last night, TV Tokyo aired a special warning viewers about disasters that are bound to hit Japan in the next few years. They included:
A cholera outbreak will come from the sea and kill 5,000 Japanese between now and 2011
Famine will hit Japan and thousands will die of starvation between now and 2011.
In 2011, water shortages will lead to global war, and Japan will participate in the conflict.
The predictions were made by Jucelino Nobrega da Luz, a Brazilian con artist. Instead of giving viewers background information about how Jucelino is a fraud, TV Tokyo found experts and spun their explanations about there being “a possibility” that outbreaks of disease and famine could occur into supporting evidence for Jucelino’s claims.
Here was my comment in response:
My stomach churns each time I see this man on TV. The most sickening display was when he claimed to know where Lindsay Anne Hawker’s killer was hiding out. The rawest form of exploitation of an unsolved murder, and there wasn’t even a token disclaimer to let viewers know the man is completely full of it. I guess a dead foreigner is easy since she has so few friends inside the country. He and all the fortune tellers on J-TV have no place outside the most fringe areas of daytime TV infomercials but no they get prime time booking and complete reverence and respectability.
Someone said the appearance of this man on Japanese TV was not a Japan-specific issue, but while it may be true that other countries have bad and even harmful TV, what has it got to do with Japan? Of course this man’s respectful treatment on Japanese television is hugely relevant to Japan…
The Japanese people are bombarded with a massive amount of false and dishonest TV images depicted as non-fiction, and it is not limited to fake psychics (for example, is it any wonder that some people were willing to believe that Asahara Shoko was a messiah with the ability to levitate when he used to BE one of these respected figures on J-TV?).
With so much disinformation in their lives can it be any wonder that many people never find their way to the realm of rational debate over national issues of importance?