PRC State Media Amplified Kobayashi Pharma Japan Skepticism, Fukushima Nuclear Waste Water and Japanese Vaccine Narratives Reappears

IORG Report No. 72 2024.1.1-3.31

  • Author = IORG
  • Published = 2024.4.8 19:00


  • News regarding multiple cases of kidney disease in Japan, attributed to consuming red yeast supplements from Kobayashi Pharma (小林製薬), appeared in Mandarin IE on March 22th. As of April 1st, 5 individuals have died and 114 hospitalized in Japan.
  • TDL of Kobayashi incident in China’s IE supasses that of food safety incidents in Taiwan regarding ractopamine and Bao-Lin Tea House (寶林茶室), opposite to the trend observed in Taiwan’s IE.
  • PRC state media have published documents related to Kobayashi incident in a quantity that is 7x that of those related to ractopamine incident, and 30x that of those related to Bao-Lin incident.
  • PRC state media initiated a “Japan Skepticism” narrative, claiming that all Japanese companies recent involved in fraudulent practices have refused to correct its mistakes, linking to past narratives questioning Japanese government’s handling of Fukushima nuclear waste water. DA.46 DA.50
  • PRC state media amplified a narrative started by Chinese netizens, mocking Japanese manufacturing craftsmanship (工匠精神) by nicknaming it “bow-manship” (躬匠精神).
  • PRC state media extended a narrative started by Taiwanese media, calling Taiwan’s representative in Japan “cold-blooded” “Japan-helping representative”.
  • Specific topics, such as Fukushima nuclear waste water, receive higher attention in China’s IE than in Taiwan’s IE. DA.45 PRC government agencies and state media pay higher degree of attention to Japan-related topics, compared with other affairs. DA.27 DA.45 DA.51
  • Information manipulation narrative “Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) is Japan-helping representative” originated from Taiwan’s IE accuses of Taiwan-Japan “collusion” and have received long-term PRC amplification. Such a narrative, similar to Collusion narrative of US Skepticism, depicts elites of the two countries plotting together at the expense of public interest, could affect public perception towards Japan and alienate Taiwan-Japan friendship, which aligns with PRC interest. Similar talking points have also received PRC amplification on topics of COVID-19 vaccine and Fukushima nuclear waste water. Reader discretion is advised. DA.5 DA.12 DA.46

Full version of this report is available in Taiwanese Mandarin. Please visit for more.

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