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The 21st Century Red Scare: Avoid Biases and Reach for Facts!

I believe the “ability to talk based on facts” is a basic skill to have as a businessman.
We must not judge things according to assumptions and rumors.
With this in mind, I tried to unravel the mystery of Anti-China bias.
It’s rampant in Japan. The media, in particular, is very biased when reporting on news related to China.
Of course, the political systems of Japan and China are different. However, what I want to point out is the attitude of domestic Japanese media.
The other day, there was a fuss about LINE’s “subsidiary in China having access to view user information”, but at the same time the parent company in South Korea also had access and this is apparently not a problem. This shows how the exact same facts are reported differently according to the country’s political system, and this is the kind of bias we need to be aware of.
So, what legal issues did this entail? Does it just mean that employees of LINE’s subsidiary in China are able to access our registered information? They also threw the “National Intelligence Law” (a law passed by the Chinese government in 2017 that allows them to demand companies in China to hand over data to the government) into the mix and reported alarmingly that, “private information of Japanese citizens are being leaked to the Chinese government!”, making this start to sound like a deluded conspiracy theory.
Furthermore, it seems that there were no legal violations at all! (Isn’t this shocking? Does everybody only read the headlines?)

・There is no evidence to suggest that any personal information leaked from LINE’s subsidiary in China. In any case, they only have the right to view the information, and the information was never transferred (to third parties).
・The Personal Data Protection Act stipulates that the user’s agreement is required to transfer personal data to third parties overseas, but as there was nothing transferred, this is a non-issue.

So, while nobody even knows what the problem is here, why do all the Presidents of Japanese companies operating a server in Dalian, China, like LINE, need to ask for forgiveness saying, “Sorry for our lack of awareness”? It makes no sense!
In relation to the National Intelligence Law, the security official of China stressed that “requesting cooperation from organizations and individuals for national intelligence activities is common in many other countries, including the U.S.” Regarding the possibility of the Chinese government collecting information about Japanese businesses, they denied and said, “Our country’s technology has already surpassed the technology of Japanese businesses in many fields, so there is no need.”
This is the sad truth. That’s right, for China which has already overtaken Japan’s technology, this argument probably sounds like a petty joke.
Rather, I think the more pressing issue is how America’s Facebook is using the personal data of 530 million people to manipulate (information) sent to individuals to increase ad revenue.
Additionally, Rakuten became a target of surveillance by both the governments of Japan and the U.S. because they received investment from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd… I think you need strict surveillance over Facebook first.
Will every Japanese company receiving investment from China in the future be put under surveillance now?
This is starting to look like “The 21st Century Red Scare”.
So, let’s all check the facts!
I talk about this and more on Voicy radio’s “Sono Neta, Fukayomisasete! (Let me read between the lines of that topic!)”, so please follow it.


The Invisible Risk of “Data” Leak in China. The Truth Made Clear by LINE: Asahi Shimbun Digital

LINE Blocks Information Access in China. Addressing the issue “in the interest of users”: News Q&A: Jiji.com

Shocking Details of “Facebook Activity Tracking” Revealed by U.S. University Student

Personal Data, Including Phone Numbers of 530 Million Facebook Users Leaked on Criminal Forum

Rakuten Target of Japan & U.S. Government Joint Surveillance. Vigilance Against Data Leak to China: Tokyo Shimbun Tokyo Web