Framing Biases and Language Choices: How the Japanese Media Broadcast Foreign Aid Policy for Africa

Faith Hatani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose:This paper aims to investigate how the Japanese media conveyed the country’s foreign aid policy and analyse how framing biases in the news differ depending on which language (either Japanese or English) was used in the broadcasts.

Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a qualitative single case-study design and conducts a content analysis. The study uses news videos about the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development aired on YouTube by the Japanese media using Japanese and English.

Findings: The findings reveal subtle but notable differences in the patterns of the framing biases in the Japanese media’s news aired in Japanese intended for the domestic audience, and in the news on the same topic broadcast in English to the international audience.

Research limitations/implications: The limitation of the study is the rather small data set used for the single case study of one event.

Social implications: Framing biases could lead the general public in a monolingual society to a more skewed view of their government’s policy and its activities abroad. This could be an obstacle to developing a common ground for global issues and cross-border policy agendas.

Originality/value: The study explores an under-researched function of language in international affairs. It highlights how the mass media in a non-English-speaking country uses a dual approach to framing news while addressing different audiences. To the best of the author’s knowledge, the context that this paper deals with is novel because there are limited studies on the nexus between the influence of language choices and media logic in the field of international business.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Perspectives on International Business
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)640-660
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 10 April 2023.


  • Framing bias
  • Language choice
  • Media logic
  • Foreign aid policy
  • YouTube
  • Japan

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