Locations Japan

Interview with Makoto Watanabe


Makoto Watanabe links the invention of the smartphone to that of the telegraph—both having increased the speed at which news is distributed—though the smartphone allows journalists and their audiences to be closer for the first time. Here he touches on the use of smartphones in Japan—being used for private communication and games—and hints that people can easily become confused with the authenticity of news and what is worth believing.

Makoto Watanabe is editor-in-chief of the Waseda Chronicle, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization in Japan. Prior to this he as with Asahi Shumbun, one of Japan’s five national newspapers. Notably within his body of work, he was one of the journalists involved in the Promethean investigation—a series of provocative investigate reports on the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster which won The Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association Prize (equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize) in 2012, and again in 2013 for reporting related to the clean-up of the disaster.