Public Relations in Japan: Evolution of Communication Management in a Culture of Lifetime Employment, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Public Relations in Japan

Evolution of Communication Management in a Culture of Lifetime Employment, 1st Edition

Edited by Tomoki Kunieda, Koichi Yamamura, Junichiro Miyabe


186 pages

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Hardback: 9781138634763
pub: 2018-10-02
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pub: 2018-09-21
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Despite its rapid economic development, Japan lacks a large public relations industry and its role is viewed very differently from its Western counterparts. PR functions are handled predominantly in-house and a degree in a PR field is not a hiring requirement for those agencies which do operate. Mainstream PR history focusses entirely on its organizational aspects, and there are no Japanese PR "gurus" defining the field.

Public Relations in Japan is the first in-depth scholarly discussion of what political, social and economic conditions affected the development of PR in Japan. Drawing on historical and empirical studies from multiple perspectives, it explores how and why public relations management and education in Japan is fundamentally informed by Japanese working practices. Central to this is the culture of lifetime employment which has created a fundamentally generalist approach to PR practice which discourages a high degree of professionalization.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Culture of lifetime employment and the history of Japanese PR

Tomoki Kunieda

Chapter 1: History in Brief

Koichi Yamamura, Sekiya Ikari, & Takashi Kenmochi

Chapter 2: The Democratization of Japan and the Introduction of American PR

Koichi Yamamura

Chapter 3: Public Relations by a Local Government: 150 years of Tokyo’s PR

Tomoki Kunieda

Chapter 4: History of Internal Communications in Japanese Companies

Masamichi Shimizu

Chapter 5: (Under-) Development of PR Industry and Profession

Yusuke Ibuki

Chapter 6: A Tale of Two Professionalisms: Human resource management (HRM) and PR function of Japanese companies

Junichiro Miyabe

Chapter 7: Impacts of Crises on Public Relations 2007–2017: The "Lehman Shock" and the Great East Japan Earthquake

Naoya Ito

Chapter 8: Current situation of corporate public relations in Japan: An attempt to assess comprehensive public relations activities from eight aspects

Koichi Kitami

Concluding Remarks: How general are we?

Tomoki Kunieda, Koichi Yamamura, and Junichiro Miyabe

Appendix 1: Glossary of Key Terms

Appendix 2: Chronology of PR in Japan 1861-2017

Appendix 3: Note on Japanese Employment Practices

About the Editors

Tomoki Kunieda, is an Assistant Professor at Taisho University, Japan. His research focus is on the history of mass communication, journalism and government public relations. He is a member of the JSCCS board of directors and chairperson of the Society’s Global Public Relations Theory Research Group. He has a doctorate in journalism from Sophia University.

Koichi Yamamura, PhD, is a visiting senior researcher at Waseda University, Japan. He is also a management and communication consultant with extensive experience in corporate communication, crisis management, corporate control, and technology communication. He has published case studies on hostile takeover defence and post crisis CSR activities. He has also co-authored an article and a book chapter on the historic evolution of PR in Japan.

Junichiro Miyabe is a Research Scholar at Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University, Japan. He has over 30-years of research experience at Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. He joined Hokkaido University in 2000 as a visiting professor and became a professor of international public relations in 2009 until 2015. He has published papers, among others, on human resource management and organizational structure of PR department.

About the Series

Routledge New Directions in PR & Communication Research

Current academic thinking about public relations (PR) and related communication is a lively, expanding marketplace of ideas and many scholars believe that it’s time for its radical approach to be deepened. Routledge New Directions in PR & Communication Research is the forum of choice for this new thinking. Its key strength is its remit, publishing critical and challenging responses to continuities and fractures in contemporary PR thinking and practice, tracking its spread into new geographies and political economies. It questions its contested role in market-orientated, capitalist, liberal democracies around the world, and examines its invasion of all media spaces, old, new, and as yet unenvisaged.

The New Directions series has already published and commissioned diverse original work on topics such as:

  • PR’s influence on Israeli and Palestinian nation-building
  • PR's origins in the history of ideas
  • a Jungian approach to PR ethics and professionalism
  • global perspectives on PR professional practice;
  • PR as an everyday language for everyone
  • PR as emotional labour
  • PR as communication in conflicted societies, and
  • PR's relationships to cooperation, justice and paradox.

We actively invite new contributions and offer academics a welcoming place for the publication of their analyses of a universal, persuasive mindset that lives comfortably in old and new media around the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Public Relations
HISTORY / Asia / Japan
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies