Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan

by Tansa
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan

Dear all,

Thank you once again for your generous contribution to our project.

In February, we visited Seoul, South Korea, to cover the series "Uploaded and Re-Uploaded". In South Korea, the "Nth Room Incident," a large-scale crime that involved the trafficking of sexually explicit images using chat rooms, occurred in 2020 and became a serious social problem. After the incident, police investigations and amendments to laws have been made to prevent such crimes.

The Center for Teenage Women's Rights, which works to prevent teenage sexual exploitation, the citizens' group ReSET, and the mass media outlet The Hankyoreh, which first covered the case, each told us about the changes and challenges that have occurred in Korean society.

What impressed me the most was the fact that citizens obtained laws that agreed to protect victims and prevent crimes through public petitions and speaking out.

The developments in Korean society will be helpful when considering ways to prevent digital sex crimes in Japan. We will continue our coverage in cooperation with activists and experts in Korea.

The results of our coverage will be reported in a series of articles.

In addition to the interviews during this visit, we strengthened our partnership with Korean organizations.

We visited the Korean office of Ashoka, the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs, and discussed the possibility of applying our investigative reporting skills to education. In both Korea and Japan, education is standardized, and it is difficult to acquire the ability to look at things critically and to overcome challenges on one's own. We are hopeful that we will be able to collaborate with members of Ashoka Korea in the future.

We also met with members of News Tapa, a non-profit investigative news organization. News Tapa, like Tansa, is a citizen's news organization that operates on donations. We met for the first time in about three and a half years, after the covid19 disaster.

At the meeting, we reviewed the current status of the Asian cross border project that was underway before covid19. We discussed ways to restart the project. Tansa also shared that the government has been covering up the consultation documents regarding the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. A similar case occurred in South Korea, and News Tapa was taking the government to court. We promised to share the situation more frequently and explore the possibility of joint coverage in the future.

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Dear all,

First of all, thank you once again for your generous contribution to our project.

Tansa began a new series in November. Sexual photos and videos of individuals have been leaked to the app and traded without permission of subjects themselves. The photos and videos were collected through hacking,secret filming, and revenge pornography.  It even included child pornography.

Once they are leaked online, they are used repeatedly and never disappear. The victim's suffering continues forever.

The online damage has spread to the real world. Some have been personally identified and received harassing messages, while others have been followed on the street. One victim attempted suicide.

Photos and videos uploaded to the app can be downloaded with a paid key, and the contents can be downloaded. When someone uses the key, the contributor receives money. They therefore advertise the existence of the folders of photos on Twitter and online forums, along with the victims' mugshots and private information.

In our investigation, we found the 339 accounts had a total of 1,014,482 followers — there were over 300 “sellers” with over 1 million “customers.”

The problem is that the apps was offered in the Google and Apple app stores. This led to widespread use of the apps: it was downloaded over 100,000 times in Google's store and ranked in popularity in Apple's store. The platform served as a loudspeaker.

The police have not been able to handle with the sheer number of cases. In addition, laws to regulate platforms in Japan are lax and inadequate.

These problems are not unique to Japan. In South Korea, a large-scale online sex crime known as the "N-ban Room Incident" was uncovered in 2020. The stage on which women, including minors, were victimized was a chat application. Subsequently, the "N-ban Room Prevention Law" was enacted. However, as long as the system is maintained, there is a possibility that perpetrators will appear again.

We pursue the composition of the damage that is happening all over the world. In particular, we hold the platform providers who profit from business around the world accountable. We’ll work it with journalists across borders.

Without ending the system, the serious harm to women and children will not be broken. Please support this project as well.

Tansa released three articles on this topic.

(1)Photos and videos turned into “sexual products” without subjects’ consent

(2)The “keys” used to purchase sexual images in seemingly innocent apps 

(3)339 posters have amassed 1,010,482 “customers” on Twitter

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one of the sessions in Beta
one of the sessions in Beta

Thank you all once again for your continued support. Because of your support, we were able to participate in the journalism conference ‘Splice Beta 2022’ in Chiengmai, Thailand this month.


Beta is an annual event for journalists and newsrooms in Asia. It attracts nearly 300 people from Asia and around the world. We shared with each other our research skills, news dissemination techniques, fundraising and other operational know-how.


The most wonderful thing is that I get to meet journalists from across the border. Nowadays, any social problem or injustice is not completed within a single country. It is essential for journalists to cooperate with each other across countries and regions.


We three reporters from Tansa participated in Beta. We were able to bring all kinds of knowledge and networking back to Japan. Based on this, we will continue to work hard to make our reporting more powerful and impactful.


That’s all for now. As a citizen-supported nonprofit newsroom, reader engagement has always been one of our primary objectives, and we hope to continue to connect with you, our readers, through our activities. From everyone at Tansa, we greatly appreciate your continued support, and we’re looking forward to sharing more stories and events with you!


Sincerely yours,

Team Tansa

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Speaker / Martin Fackler
Speaker / Martin Fackler

Thank you all once again for your continued support.

Last month, we held a ‘Journalism workshop’, and invited a speaker; Martin Fackler, former Tokyo Bureau Chief of the New York Times.

The theme of the keynote speech was ‘’The Rise, Fall and Rise of The New York Times.” The participants such as reporters, researchers, and NGO staff learned how The New York Times achieved a V-shaped recovery.

The editor-in-chief of Tansa listed three things that impressed him in Fackler’s talk. They are as follows.

1. Readers are looking for articles in which they can see the reporter. In the past, it was illegal for the "I" to appear in articles, but now articles without the "I" are not trusted.

2. Journalism is needed in an era when even presidents like Donald Trump lie and the lies spread through social networking services.

3. Readers are not stupid. They want one-of-a-kind reporting. Unlike "press club reporting," which is just what is published, investigative reporting is one-of-a-kind content.

Tansa will continue to create opportunities where both journalists and citizens can get the skills and mindsets of journalism.

That’s all for now. From everyone at Tansa, we greatly appreciate your continued support, and we’re looking forward to sharing more stories and events with you!

Thank you,
Tansa Team

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in Warsaw, Poland
in Warsaw, Poland

In June 2022, reporter Nanami Nakagawa attended the journalism training in Warsaw, Poland. It was organized by the Open Society Foundation, which supports Tansa. We were invited free of charge.

The training was attended by about 40 participants from non-profit independent investigative journalists worldwide. Most were investigative journalists, but there was also a diverse group of fundraising, communications, and technology professionals who support the Newsroom. Nanami was the only participant from Japan.

The training included brainstorming on how to deliver fair articles to more citizens and how to become a sustainable news organization. It was a week of solidarity with everyone and an update on journalism around the world.

Nanami received information from an African journalist she met about an injustice involving a giant Japanese company. We decided to report the story together. An international collaboration was born.

Tansa will continue to focus on international collaborations to expose corruption across borders.

Around the same time, Nanami's reporting series "Polluted with PFOA" won the grand prize at the PEP Journalism Awards, organized by the Asia Pacific Initiative. The head of the jury stated, "All of the judges highly commended the series for its investigative reporting.

We are able to do our in-depth coverage thanks to the people who support Tansa. Thank you so much for your support.

We will continue to do our best to be a news organization with social impact, and we appreciate your support and encouragement.

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Organization Information


Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tansa_english
Project Leader:
Annelise Giseburt
Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan
$6,200 raised of $7,000 goal
98 donations
$800 to go
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