It has long been claimed that a tradition of fear of Japan dominated Australian thinking about foreign affairs and defence after Japan's defeat of Russia in 1905 until the Pacific War. This study of Australian reporting of Japan challenges that claim by demonstrating how, in the years 1931 to 1942, newspapers, radio and news reels produced a collective national consciousness or awareness of Japan as a nation of little import. The argument for a diminished national consciousness of Japan is sustained by close examination of media practices, personnel, publications and broadcasts to expose misleading representations of Japan which directed Australian attitudes before the Pacific War. The study's objective is to present a new and distinct examination of the flow of information about Japan into Australia. It thus draws on, but makes a very clear distinction between, the arcane world of government correspondence and Cabinet discussion and information available to the Australian people. In so doing the dissertation exposes government censorship of the media, both before and during World War Two; the flow of propaganda emanating from government, Britain and Japan into the Australian media; co-operation between the media, journalists and propaganda agencies; and espionage activity directed at influencing the Australian media.