An investigative reporter wades into an issue about which he is singularly unequipped to tackle. The language and the culture are totally alien to him. He is forced to rely on sources that are willing to talk to him in his native language. Undeterred, he publishes a book to underwhelming reviews. The book, perhaps inevitably, is reportedly riddled with errors, which will be duly corrected in the translation into that language, with the author's consent.
In the meantime, the author receives a complaint from the representative of the family of the subject of the book in the form of a public letter. The letter is a remarkably restrained affair, a general complaint followed by a lengthy complaint on a couple of issues involving the parents of the subject of the book. This is understandable. One of the issues concern a recent national tragedy on the order of 9.11; the other is an issue in which the family has a 1,300 year engagement and has more recently been involved personally for at least three generations. Another reason the letter must be considered remarkably restrained is because the author had gained permission to use some photos under the condition that the book would not contain anything disrespectful of the household in question.
A decent human being would have acknowledged any errors and apologized for them, and explained that they would be corrected in the upcoming translation and any future editions of the book. The author instead lashed out at the complaint, claiming that he had nothing to apologize about. As far as media reports go, he has not yet acknowledged any wrongdoing.
The EMSM, perhaps predictably, took this issue and ran an article generally favorable to the author with a prototypical "right-wing intimidation" trope. Unfortunately, inconvenient facts have come to the fore, including accusations of gross misrepresentation and past plagiarism from people willing to go on the record. And the publication of the translation has been canceled, the publisher citing loss of mutual trust due to the author's denial of any responsibility.
I will be pleasantly surprised if the EMSM and the author run corrections.
I am, of course, talking about the recent turn of events surrounding the "Princess Masako" incident.
I myself have written of the intimidation from the militant elements of the Japanese far right. And I will go on record as being highly critical of the way the Imperial Household goes about its affairs, which runs the risk of slowly strangling the very institution it is supposed to uphold.
I also believe that journalists should be held to the same standards that they hold the rest of us to.
If you are interested in this matter, I encourage you to go to Shisaku (scroll down) and keep following all the threads. Some books reviews can be found here.