Press: Yellow-Peril Journalism

Is latent racism coloring business coverage of Japan?

"Under present conditions we are virtually at the mercy of the Japanese," editorialized the Los Angeles Times. The Sacramento Bee, equally indignant, warned of a planned Japanese "invasion of industrial fields." And in a spirited appearance before a congressional committee, the Bee's publisher argued for "protective measures." The Japanese, he fumed, were after nothing less than "control of the country . . . through economic competition."

Those xenophobic outbursts were not made in 1989 but in 1920, during a time of "yellow peril" panic over Japanese immigration to the U.S. But they are not much different from the alarmed press comments...

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