Nagasaki Shimbun Reporter Writes, “Thanks The Governor From The Bottom of My Heart” (6)
2023.06.23 15:53 Nanami Nakagawa
Nagasaki Shimbun reporter Koichi Doshita wrote an article defending Nagasaki Prefecture. After Kyodo News reporter Yoichi Ishikawa questioned Governor Hodo Nakamura at a press conference, he approached Ishikawa, saying, “It’s going to be a problem for the press club.”
However, the prefecture confirmed the proposal from Kaisei Gakuen, a private Catholic high school, to the bereaved family that the suicide of Hayato Fukuura was a “sudden death.” Media other than the Nagasaki Shimbun criticized the prefecture, and the prefecture itself admitted at a press conference that it was inappropriate.
Neither the bereaved family nor Ishikawa could understand why Doshita was so protective of the prefecture. Meanwhile, Hayato’s mother, Saori, discovered an article.
“Supporting” rather than “monitoring”
On March 1, 2022, Saori was reading the Nagasaki Shimbun. In the gubernatorial election last month, newcomer Kengo Oishi defeated incumbent Nakamura by a close margin of 541 votes. March 1 was Nakamura’s last day as governor after three terms. Articles on the change of governor stood out in the paper that day.
What caught Saori’s eye was the headline of an article written by Doshita.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart
Who was he grateful to? Saori was stunned when she started reading. The person he expressed his gratitude to was Governor Nakamura.
Twenty years ago, when I was working for the Tsushima Bureau, I often visited the Prefectural Tsushima Bureau Office (now the Prefectural Tsushima Promotion Bureau). The head of the office at that time was the current governor, Hodo Nakamura. He had a friendly personality, and I usually chatted with him, rather than interviewing him.
When Mr. Nakamura first ran for gubernatorial office 12 years ago, a young prefectural employee who happened to be by chance at a Japanese bar said, “It would be comfortable to work under Mr. Nakamura,” wishing for Nakamura to win the election.
The article blatantly praising Nakamura continued as follows:
Two years ago, I became in charge of the prefectural office, and we met again after a long while. As the saying goes, “Position makes a person,” I felt that he possessed dignity as a governor. I couldn’t just casually drop by the governor’s office anymore, but he took the time to see me out of his busy schedule. The news media played an important role in monitoring the government, but seeing him seriously try to implement measures made me want to support him.
Doshita wrote that he “wanted to support” Nakamura, who is the head of the prefectural government, even though he knew that the important role of the press was to “monitor the government.” While Saori thought, “It’s frustrating and unforgivable,” all of Doshita’s words and actions so far made sense.
Finally, it read:
I would like to thank Mr. Nakamura from the bottom of my heart. And I hope he gets to take the weight off his shoulders and get good rest. Thank you for your hard work.
About 700 characters. From the beginning to the end, the article praised Nakamura.
Nagasaki Shimbun reporter Koichi Doshita’s article “Thank you from the bottom of my heart” (March 1, 2022)
“Human life is heavier than any kind of authority”
Saori showed Doshita’s article to Daisuke when he came home from work.
“It seems that Mr. Doshita was on good terms with the governor. That’s why he wrote an article on Hayato’s case that supports the prefecture’s side. ”
Daisuke read the article and said calmly; “As expected.” Doshita told Daisuke on the phone that “the prefecture was not bad.” As soon as he saw the article, he was convinced.
Saori couldn’t contain her anger. It was past midnight, but she sent a text message with the article to Reporter Ishikawa of Kyodo News. Along with the article, she wrote the following message.
“I understand why he was pro-prefecture. I believe that human life is heavier than any kind of authority.”
Eight months after Hayato committed suicide, Saori and Daisuke sought help from the Prefectural Academic Affairs Division in an attempt to correct Kaisei Gakuen’s dishonest response. Nevertheless, Osamu Matsuo, who was the counselor, said, “The school respects the wishes of the bereaved family.”
The prefecture was unreliable, so the next thing they expected was the media. They relied on The Nagasaki Shimbun, which had local influence.
For Saori and Daisuke, both the prefecture and the Nagasaki Shimbun have betrayed their expectations.
What does Doshita of the Nagasaki Shimbun think about his own actions to defend the prefecture and abandon his duties as a journalist? What does he have to say?
I sent a letter of inquiry to Doshita’s email and requested an interview. I also called his cell phone.
However, as of May 25, 2023, there is no response.
To be continued.
(Originally published in Japanese on May 25, 2023. Translation by Mana Shibata.)Adults in the Student Suicide Case: All articles