Norimitsu Onishi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Norimitsu Onishi
Born Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Occupation journalist
Notable credit(s) The New York Times, The Detroit Free Press

Norimitsu Onishi (大西 哲光, Ōnishi Norimitsu) is a Japanese Canadian journalist. He is Southern Africa Bureau Chief for the New York Times.

He was a member of The New York Times reporting team that received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage of the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.[1] Team members named by The Times were Pam Belluck, Helene Cooper, Sheri Fink, Adam Nossiter, Onishi, Kevin Sack, and Ben C. Solomon.[2]

More recently Onishi has written about the lonely deaths of the elderly in Japan. Readers thanked Norimitsu for his "profoundly moving piece" about two people who live alone in a danchi, a sprawling government apartment complex, outside Tokyo.[3]


Onishi was born in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. When he was four years old, Onishi and his family immigrated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He attended Princeton University and served as the chief editor of the student newspaper.[4]

Onishi was a reporter for The Detroit Free Press from 1992 until 1993.[citation needed] In December 1993, he joined The New York Times where he began as police reporter from January to July 1994 and city weekly reporter from July 1994 to March 1995.[citation needed] He went on to become the Queens bureau chief from March 1995 to September 1997 and later the West Africa bureau chief from 1998 to 2002.[5]

Onishi became the Tokyo bureau chief for the Times in August 2003. In 2008, he was transferred to head the Southeast Asia bureau in Jakarta; Martin Fackler succeeded him as chief of the Tokyo bureau.

In September and October 2014, Onishi reported on the ebola virus epidemic in West Africa from Liberia.[6][7][8]


Some critics, especially conservatives in Japan such as Kohyu Nishimura[9] and Yoshihisa Komori,[10] accuse Onishi's leftist perspective of having a strong "anti-Japan" bias, which, they suggest, helps foster a vilified image of Japan abroad.

Another article, "Letter from Asia: Why Japan Seems Content to Be Run by One Party"[11] provoked an official objection statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for being "an incorrect article."[12] In it, Onishi referred to Japan's democracy as an "illusion" and immature, comparing its government to that of North Korea and China.[13]

His article on December 17, 2006, "Japan Rightists Fan Fury Over North Korea Abductions,"[14] was also criticized by Kyoko Nakayama, Special Adviser to the Japanese Prime Minister on Abduction.[15][16] Thomas H. Snitch, a former professor of American University also suggested that Onishi's coverage on Japan's effort to deal with the issue of the North Korean abductions of Japanese is influenced by his political bias.[17] Some Japanese conservatives even made unproven claims that Onishi is a naturalized Japanese citizen of Korean descent.[18][19]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "ひと 日系人ではじめてのニューヨーク・タイムズ誌東京支局長 ノリミツ・オオニシ さん (34)", Asahi Shimbun, September 21, 2003. (in Japanese)
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Reporting on Ebola: First rule is you don't touch anyone". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Nishimura, Kohyu (2006-05-10). 反日スプリンクラーとして世界に歪曲・偏向記事を垂れ流すNYT東京支局長 (in Japanese). SAPIO. pp. 76–78. 
  10. ^ Komori, Yoshihisa (2006-12-01). 世界の「反日レッド・ペーパー」研究 〜日本悪玉論を喧伝する国際偏向報道に反撃を〜 (in Japanese). Seiron magazine. pp. 54–58. 
  11. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (2005-09-07). "Letter from Asia: Why Japan Seems Content to Be Run by One Party". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  12. ^ "自民党「支配」中朝と同一視 米紙NYタイムズ報道 外務省、不公正と"抗議". Sankei Shimbun. 2005-09-03. Retrieved 2007-01-03. [dead link](in Japanese)
  13. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (2005-09-07). "Why Japan Seems Content to Be Run by One Party". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (2006-12-17). "Japan Rightists Fan Fury Over North Korea Abductions". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  15. ^ Nakayama, Kyoko (2006-12-25). "Abductions in Japan". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  16. ^ "NYタイムズ拉致「扇動」記事 政府が反論文投稿". Sankei Shimbun/Yahoo! News. 2006-12-29. Archived from the original on January 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-03. (in Japanese)
  17. ^ Snitch, Thomas H. (2006-12-28). NYタイムズ 拉致問題「右翼扇動」記事 政治的偏見による日本批判 (in Japanese). Sankei Shimbun. 
  18. ^ Takayama, Masayuki (July 13, 2006). 変幻自在 207: 似非日本人. Shukan Shincho (in Japanese): 146. 
  19. ^ "「NYタイムズ」東京支局長は「反日記事」がお好き" (in Japanese). Shukan Shincho. March 2003. p. 58. 

External links[edit]