Japanese legal system

Libel and slander laws in Japan are vague. Police confirmation of criminal investigations is rare, except for leaks to an exclusive police agency press club from which foreign media are excluded. Reuters pickups of Japanese media reports would probably not be actionable in Japan but they could be the subject of action in other countries with stricter rules if the plaintiff had a reputation that could be damaged abroad. Suspects in Japan can be held for as long as 48 hours before a formal arrest warrant is issued. The suspect can then be held for a further 72 hours until a prosecutor decides whether there is enough evidence to lay charges. It can then take up to 20 more days before an indictment is obtained.


Jargon is specialised language unfamiliar to the average reader, e.g., de-escalation, thought leadership, downside risks. Beware the language used by financial professionals. Political and military jargon is riddled with euphemisms to conceal meaning. Unless you are directly quoting someone, turn jargon into clear English. Journalism jargon—news flow, obits, stringers, paras, rejigs—should not appear in our stories, even in advisories (“corrects para four”). Words like obituary should be written in full. For examples, see jargon.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Not Jedda or Jidda.

jeep, Jeep

Lower-case for a military vehicle. Upper-case for the brand of civilian vehicle.


Israelis and Arabs dispute the status of the city. Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal and indivisible" capital but that is not recognised internationally. Palestinians want to have the capital of an eventual Palestinian state there. Do not use it as a synonym for Israel, as in the Jerusalem government.

Jesus Christ

Be careful using “Christ” because it is a theological term for Messiah, a title non-Christians would not give him. The combination Jesus Christ is so well know that in most general stories, we can use it on first reference and Jesus after that. Christ on second reference should be limited to strictly Christian theological contexts (see Christ). Using Jesus Christ would not be appropriate in a story about Jewish views of Jesus. In a story about Muslims discussing him, use Jesus Christ only if they do. In no case should we refer to him only as Christ on second reference in general stories or in headlines.


Most modern airliners and military aircraft have jet engines. Do not use such terms as jet airliner or jetliner unless the fact that the aircraft is jet-powered is relevant. It would be more helpful to specify if an airliner or military aircraft is propeller-driven.


An Islamic holy war or struggle. It can also refer to individual’s moral struggle. Use with extreme care.

jihadi, jihadist

Jihadists are Islamists who employ extreme violence to further their stated aims usually including establishing a government based on Islamic principles, for example, al Qaeda. They embrace the global ideology of violent jihad, even if they remain only local actors, like Islamic State in its current guise.

"Jihadi" and "jihadist" are not "terms of abuse" but expressions that have specific meaning and are widely used in specialist academic literature and counterinsurgency circles. A number of Islamist groups, of course, actively embrace the term themselves.

By contrast "Islamists" are adherents of political Islam, i.e., they believe Islam should guide social, political and personal action but do not necessarily advocate violence. The leaders of some Muslim countries are now Islamists.

Even where Islamists support the use of violence to secure their goals, we should always use the terms "jihadi" and "jihadist" with caution and in context. We would not ordinarily refer to Hamas or Hezbollah as jihadist organisations, even though they sometimes use violence to pursue their goals, because they have a narrower focus. Should their political foes refer to them as jihadists, that is a different matter. But we should be clear that this is someone else’s opinion. If in doubt, always check with the relevant bureau, the appropriate editing desk or the regional editor.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Kennedy International Airport or Kennedy Airport are acceptable on first reference; “JFK” OK thereafter or in headlines if context is clear.

John F. Kennedy Space Center

Florida, USA. Kennedy Space Center is an acceptable contraction. Mission control is usually at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and Johnson Space Center is the acceptable contraction.

join together

“Join” will do.

July Fourth

U.S. Independence Day holiday. The federal legal holiday is observed on Friday if July 4 falls on a Saturday, on Monday if it falls on a Sunday. Style is July Fourth or Fourth of July.

jumbo jet

Loosely a large, wide-bodied airliner, specifically the Boeing 747.


Do not use for narcotics addict, unless in quotes.


To defend. The prime minister tried to justify the decision, not the prime minister justified the decision.

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