On one hand, it is good that many Japanese now doubt some of the things (not all, by any means) that their government and the mass media tell them. On the other hand, the same people still truly believe that the foreign media is unbiased and reports only the truth, and that the foreign media will report what the Japanese counterpart will never report.
The latest manifestation of this belief is over the launch of a satellite by North Korea on December 11. Twitter was abuzz almost right away, refuting the Japanese government's announcement that a "missile" was launched, or the government's characterization that it was "effectively a ballistic missile technology". The Japanese media duly reported as such.
People indignantly tweeted, "See how deceptive they are. None of the foreign media is reporting it as "missile". They all say "rocket". See how our government twists the fact and tries to incite nationalistic fervor! We can't trust the Japanese media at all!"
It's a beautiful narrative that fits what has transpired since March 2011. It seems people's focus is purely on semantics not substance, and the fact that the Japanese government called it a "missile" while every sane nation and media in the world called it a "rocket", therefore the Japanese government is a liar who cannot be trusted. The meme is still going strong today.
I don't know what "foreign media" they were looking at, but clearly not these:
Huffington Post quoting AP: White House: North Korea Missile Launch 'Highly Provocative'
ABC News: ANALYSIS: North Korean Missile Hits Its Target of Alarming the World
USA Today: U.S. condemns North Korea missile launch
The Atlantic: North Korea's Missile Launch: The Winners and Losers
And the White House: Statement from NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on North Korea’s Missile Launch
Here is the "rocket" camp:
Wall Street Journal: North Korea Claims Success in Rocket Launch [with the sub-headline saying "U.S. Confirms Object Reached Orbit; Pyongyang's Effort Is Seen as Provocation and Advancement of Missile Program"
CBS News: North Korea successfully launches long-range rocket
BBC: UN Security Council condemns North Korea rocket launch
North American Aerospace Defense Command seems to think it was "missile" From CBS News:
In a written statement, North American Aerospace Defense Command officials "acknowledged today that U.S. missile warning systems detected and tracked the launch of a North Korean missile at 7:49 p.m. EST...Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit. At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America."
Since the Japanese like the United Nation, what did they think?
The United Nation's Security Council seems to consider it as missile. From BBC:
The UN Security Council has condemned North Korea for launching a missile in defiance of a UN resolution.
The Council president, Moroccan ambassador Mohammed Loulichk, described the launch as "a clear violation of Security Council resolutions".
The US says Pyongyang will face "consequences" for the launch, calling it a "highly provocative act that threatens regional security".
The US and its allies view the launch as a disguised ballistic missile test.
They hear what they want to hear, they see what they want to see. That's not just a Japanese phenomenon, but it's very pronounced in Japan. At least part of the reason may be their general lack of English language ability. When someone says "None of the foreign media said it was a missile, and the Japanese government lied", the comment is taken as the truth, coming from someone who must have checked all the foreign sources, and it takes on a life of its own and spread.