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Japan: Kameda hits below the belt

(In)famous for their big mouths and bad behaviour, coupled with showy performances such as singing karaoke after their victories in the ring, the Kamedas have become the Japanese media's favourite boxing family. On October 11, the World Boxing Council flyweight title match between world champion Daisuke Naito and challenger Daiki Kameda, the second son of the family, was broadcast across the nation, with its viewing rate reaching 40%.

This match, much hyped particularly by TV network TBS, however, turned out to be a rather embarrassing one for the Kamedas as Daiki was penalized for punching Naito while they were on the floor, and later for lifting and throwing the counter down. Naito also accused Kameda of thumbing and literally hitting him below the belt. There was also a speculation that his father and his brother, Koki, both of whom served as his cornermen, might have instructed him in the dirty play. Daiki along with his brother Koki and his father Shiro found themselves in a great deal of critical fuss, which lasted for weeks after the match. This resulted in the Japan Boxing Commission suspending Daiki's boxing license for a year as well as his father's license indefinitely.

While the mainstream media focused heavily on Daiki's foul play and the responsibility of his family for instructing him his behaviour, many bloggers criticize the media's hyporisy and double standard.

One blogger points out that the media coverage is off the point:

マスコミは見た目で「投げたレスリング行為」を特に強く扱っていたが内藤選手自身は「ヘッドロックしてのサミング(目潰し)」と「足へのパンチ」の2つを特に強調していた。
でもマスコミの扱いはレスリング行為が主体になっていた。
内藤選手は「自分のボクシングが通用しないと、ああいうこと(持ち上げて投げる)はありえる。経験したこともある。でもヘッドロックでサミングや足を叩くというのは無い」と言っていた。

The mass media were focusing strongly on the “wrestling-like act of throwing” but Naito himself was emphasizing 2 points: “thumbing while being headlocked” and “punching on the legs”.
However, the media covering is mainly focused on the wrestling part.
Naito said “It is understandable when your boxing is not good enough that you might do that kind of thing (lifting and throwing another boxer). I've had the experience too. But you can't do headlocking or thumbing or punching legs.”

より卑怯で滅多にないのがサミングと足叩きで、そっちを何故扱わないんだという感じであった。
より選手生命に著しい被害があるかという内藤選手の実感だと思う。
マスコミの悪いところは自分達が写真や映像を見せやすいところに日を当てる傾向にある。

Thumbing and punching in the legs are dirtier and rare but it seemed that he was wondering why [the media] was not covering it.
I think this is Naito's real feeling that these could really have damaged his career.
What is wrong about the media is that they tend to shed a light only on what they can easily show with pictures and images.

Blogger hana23th describes his reaction to the press conference held this week, where only the eldest son of the family attended and became a target of criticisms from the reporters who were present.

次に、記者からの質問の中で「パフォーマンス」という質問にも疑問を感じます。
親父からの命令だとか、自分で考えてやったのだとか、作戦だとか。
でも、その前にそのパフォーマンスを望んだのはだれか?
メディアではないのか?
大きく取り上げられれば増長するのは分かるはず!
それでも、多くの人が彼らのパフォーマンスを望んだのも否定できない現実。
確かに、ビッグパフォーマンスをしたのは亀田家であるが、言ったか言わないかは知らないが、それをさせた人間もいるって。

Next, I feel that the questions from reporters about the “performance” were problematic.
They said that his father gave the order, or it was his idea, or it was their strategy.
But who was it who wanted the performance to start with?
Wasn't it the media?
They know if they make it bigger, they encourrage [the Kamedas] to be more impudent.
Even so, it is an undeniable fact that a lot of people wanted this performance.
It is true that the Kameda family is the one that did the big performance, and I don't know if they said it or not, but there must have been people who made them do that.

Another blogger shares a similar view:

今朝、亀田兄弟の兄貴の興毅が記者会見で
ボカスカに記者に叩かれていたがありゃなんじゃ。
腹が立つのは記者の質問だ。今まで散々持ち上げといて
こうゆうきっかけがあった途端手の平を返してこれでもかと。

This morning, the oldest of the Kameda brothers was being harshly attacked by the press at the press conference, but what was that?
What made me angry were the questions reporters asked. Until now they have been praising [the Kamedas] all they want,
and now just as an opportunity like this comes, they abruptly change their attitude [and bash them].

今回の弟の反則と関係のないことまでほじくり返して
責めまくり、挙句は「どうして会見が5分遅れたのか」と
責め立てた。元々亀田一家の言動は好きじゃないがそれを
ここぞとばかりに責めてイジメるのはどうなんでしょか。
興毅なんてネクタイにスーツで来ていたが泣いちゃいそうだったぞ(笑)
現代の日本のマスコミは弱いやつを見つけると徹底的に叩いて
いるように見えるがそれでいいのか?

They brought up things that were unrelated to his brother's foul play and blamed him.
To top it all off, they blamed him saying “why was the press conference delayed 5 minutes?”
I don't really like the Kameda family's language and behaviour from the beginning but I don't know about bashing and bullying them.
Koki showed up with a suit and tie on and he was almost crying.
It seems that today's Japanese media attack like crazy once they find someone who is weak, but is this really ok?

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