...the NHK [Japan's national television network] piece lacked any discussion of blogs as a medium for political awareness and debate, or as a mainstream media watchdog -- probably the most high-profile roles of blogs in the U.S. Instead, it showed how blogs can be used for reading celebrity gossip, keeping personal diaries, following community events, or getting updates after an earthquake hits.
I'm not sure whether this omission reflects the stereotypical Japanese distaste for open conflict, overall cluelessness on the part of NHK, a desire to keep Japanese popular anti-war sentiment under wraps, or a sinister plot to cultivate apathy among the citizenry. Whatever the reason, it's a glaring omission.
Ironically, Japanese bloggers themselves fully understand the importance of what they are doing with respect to the existing media hierarchy.
The whole thing is good, and while you're over there, check out the rest of his stuff. I wish I'd found his blog earlier.