This paper examines how Japanese leading politicians cope with the communication problems posed during televised political interviews. Based on data gathered during the year 2012-13, the paper replicates and modifies the Theory of Equivocation to detail the responsiveness of national and local level politicians (and for comparison also of non-politicians) to interview questions. Its main focus is on the extent to which Japanese politicians equivocate during televised programs, and the reasons underlying this equivocation. Overall, the paper aims to identify the motives behind interviewees' equivocation, thereby to also assess the significance of these talk shows in the broader context of political communication in Japan.
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