Monday, April 25, 2011

Your Guide to Disaster Related Press Conferences and the Main Players

It's finally calming down a bit now in Japan now with the endless press conferences on prime time, now most of the press conferences have found themselves delegated to short snippets in the news shows or shown in full on cable tv news channels. So it might be a little late, but I thought I should give you the heads up on the main players.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Starring Nishiyama-san, aka "Nobita-kun"
Definitely one of my favorites. I've mentioned a bit on him earlier (here and here). Trademarks of his press conferences are looking very uncomfortable when questioned, giving out data that is contradictionary to what TEPCO and the government is saying and then looking confused when confronted with the discrepancies. One of my favorite repeating moments is when he looks confused and then leans to the side and lets one of his peons point out to him what he's about to say. But to be honest, the wig helmet captures most of my attention making it quite difficult for me to focus on what he's actually saying.

Entertainment Value: 7 - Mostly awarded due to my fascination with the wig and the deliciously awkward moments that are bound to happen
Authority : 2 - Even if I did listen to what he's actually saying, it feels kinda pointless as there seems to be a lot of people that has more and better information than dear old Nobita-kun
Fashion Sense: 9 - This is really where he shines, his work uniform is actually quite fancy, I like the khaki look with the blue for added flair on the shoulders
Cuddelability: 1 - Almost going into the negative, particularly of fear for the wig

Tokyo Electric Power Company - Starring a bunch of people

I guess that there is actually two types of TEPCO press conferences; the technical ones that take place on a daily basis and the corporate ones featuring the executives crying and aplogizing (and rightly so!) that are more rare. This review deals with the daily technical update press conference. I am quite fond of this bunch actually, it is quite immediately apparent that these guys have not received any media training to speak of but are picked because they know what they are talking about.

Usually there are at least five of them sitting tightly huddled together, whispering among each other and actually seem quite adept at letting the relevant expert speak. As they are talking technical speak they rarely get pushed in a corned the same way as poor Nobita-kun. My favorite among these guys is Matsumoto-san (seen in the picture) as he reminds me a bit of Cpt. Awkward in terms of looks and speaking style.

Entertainment Value: 3 - Usually too advanced for me to follow in detail and although the team looks great and entertaining, it is getting a bit old by now
Authority: 5 - They obviously know what they're talking about, but as they're on the payroll of TEPCO I find that I need to take their statements with a grain of salt
Fashion Sense: 5 - The work jackets they wear are ok, nothing special with no fancy fashion details but the color is pleasant enough
Cuddelability: 4 - Slightly below average, they do seem to be quite cozy together though and I would probably feel quite safe and comfortable squeezed in between them during a press conference, but they seem a bit too engineer-ish to score high here

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano
Although he ditched the work jacket a few weeks ago, he still is the man when it comes to holding press conferences. It's obvious that he's quite comfortable with the press conferences now as he manages the press with an amusing balance of friendliness and condecending attitude. Not to mention that his press conferences is usually the place where any relevant information from the government gets told.

Entertainment: 3 - Edano's press conferences are not exactly fun filled apart from the occasional scolding of a reporter asking a stupid question
Authority: 10 - This is one of Edano's strongest areas, perhaps because he's the direct spokesman of the government and actually knows what's going on
Fashion Sense: 2 - This score is based on the terribly boring light blue work jacket that all government officials seemed to be wearing to show how serious they were in the time of crisis, horribly dull with no fashion details to take attention away from the dull color
Cuddelability: 10 - Amazingly enough, Edano manages to pull of a combination of authority and cuddelability, something that you would normally think is an impossible combination. I feel like I should listen to what he says, but then I'd like to put a leash on him, take him for a walk and then let him sleep at the foot of my bed, licking my hand in the morning to gently wake me up (maybe even jumping in the bed and licking my face)

Now, the golden days of the marathon press conferences seem to be coming to an end and on the TV today, the announced that they will start to combine Nobita-kun and the TEPCO team for joint-press conference, something that is bound to help clarifying information but will reduce some of the entertainment of seeing Nobita-kun looking around awkwardly for help...

On the whole, I think we should be thankful that prime minister Kan's press conferences were kept to a minimum!


Chris said...

The main Nuclear regulatory agency has an authority level 2?....I feel very uncomfortable about that.

Fernando said...

Nice! Although you missed the short tv spot of the emperor! Would like your inut in that to cross check with mine lol

BiggerInJapan said...

Edano for Emperor, errr, I mean, Prime Minister!

Is it just me that sees his face on every Ebisu beer?

Sarahf said...

Since you brought up Nobita-kun on a previous post, I've become a bit of a fan. Although, personally, I prefer the TEPCO jackets for colour. That blue just really pops. Putting Nobita kun in a TEPCO jacket would be a transformation on a par with Susan Boyle.

Jeffrey said...

In case you don't read the FT.

Hanta said...

Edano has easily been the best out of everyone. I can hardly understand what he's saying but even I trust him a bit.

The wig bloke is terrible though. He looks like a lost child.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Chris - Yep, 'ol Nobita-kun is just being bullied around by everyone, I almost feel a bit sorry for him

Fernando - Hmmm... The emperor, didn't watch that one and even though I'm against royalty I kinda find it difficult to say anything mean about the emperor and empress, they seem like such sweet old people...

BiJ - Hey, why not, Edano for sure strengthened his image and can't do worse than Kan anyway! Not sure about the Ebisu though, you think he looks like the fat dude on the cans?

Sarahf - Hmmm, we must have a bit different taste... I'm not too hot about the Tepco color but like Nobita's!

Jeffrey - No, hadn't seen that, thanks! Well worth an analysis.

Hanta - Yep, my take exactly

Anonymous said...

Nishi-yan (Nobita) is doing a heck of a job.

Tepco pressers are the most informative and not necessarily in a way that promotes comfort. The amount of stuff that is unknown, unverifiable, too dangerous to find out is quite scary if you think about it. Edano gets the prize for total calmness and sobriety in this situation of chaos.


Corinne said...

Edano is everything I want in a man. Cuddly but willing to use his balls.

Nobita-kun is everything I don't want in a man. Dithering, dumb as dog shit and sporting fake hair.

Nice breakdown!

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