Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Moonwalking with MJ


I learned of Michael Jackson’s death this morning in a news bulletin from public broadcaster NHK, when the anchor began with: “This is urgent news just in from the United States.”

I wondered what had happened? News from President Obama? Another U.S. bank failure?


He quoted U.S. media saying Michael Jackson had been taken to a hospital in California and was not breathing. I thought how rare it was for NHK to make a celebrity death its first story, overtaking a boiling political scandal here and upcoming general election, but this was a major story for Japanese and many people across the globe.

In the 1980s it became impossible even in Japan to avoid Jackson’s music and videos and, while later abuse allegations took a toll on his popularity in many parts of the world, he has always retained a huge fan base here.PEOPLE-JACKSON/