Starting on April 14th 2016, a series of powerful earthquakes later known as the Kumamoto Earthquake struck the Kyuushu region of Japan resulting in loss of life, severed lifelines and mass evacuations. In response, the Abe Administration in Tokyo sent over 25, 000 JSDF troops to affected areas and created a special 20 trillion yen (179 billion US$) budget to fund housing, business and infrastructure. However, the rhetoric surrounding the actions of the Abe Administration were interpreted by the media as taking advantage of a natural disaster to achieve political goals. In particular, comments made by chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga which alluded to the need to amend Japan?s constitution and the dispatch of U.S. Military aircraft to the disaster zone were perceived by writers, journalists and academics as Shock Doctrine?using disaster to push political agenda that had nothing to do with disaster recovery or response. In spite of this, the Abe Administration saw both short and long-term improvement in its public approval ratings in the wake of what many average people?both Japanese and foreign?viewed an effective handling of a major natural disaster. This paper will discuss causes for the divorce between public and media perception of the Japanese government?s handling of the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, examining how public opinion is formed in Japan via both modern and traditional forms of media.