Japanese and American reporters scuffle during Biden visit to Tokyo

The Wall Street Journal

Tuesday’s meeting in Tokyo between Vice President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did little to quell simmering tensions … between reporters assigned to cover the event.

Washington Post reporter David Nakamura was a “central figure in the skirmish,” Yuka Hayashi reports.

As the pool reporter for the White House press corps on Tuesday, Mr. Nakamura was responsible for writing the accounts of the day’s events and sharing them with other U.S. media outlets that weren’t present. By the time he and three other Washington reporters arrived in the conference room, several dozen Japanese journalists had already staked out spots. There were rows of people standing in the small sections for print reporters, obstructing the views.

Nakamura tried to get on a platform meant for photographers to snap some pictures with his cellphone. Japanese journalists pushed him off, “and his attempts to climb back up were thwarted repeatedly.”

“You are in Japan, you follow our rules.” one reporter shouted. “Yeah. When we go to America, you always make us follow your rules,” another yelled, sharing his bitterness at being denied access to President Barack Obama during his latest press trip to Washington.

The incident ended when “senior aides walked in, signaling the imminent arrival of the two leaders,” Hayashi writes. She says she was among those who “breathed a sigh of relief.”

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  • Dane Gunderson

    Dear Japan, you have our permission to beat the crap out of any American Media following their Democratic overlords