“In Japan today, rather than the media watching the authorities, the government watches the media”—senior journalist
“Five of Japan’s most respected journalists have accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies,” said a report.
In a press conference, held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan earlier this week, they denounced PM Shinzo Abe’s government for its recent clampdown on press freedom after a minister threatened to revoke their licenses for “biased coverage.”
The Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi had warned the broadcasters last month that their licenses would be revoked if they failed to be “impartial” in political coverage.
“In Japan today, rather than the media watching the authorities, the government watches the media,” said Shuntaro Torigoe, a former news anchor on Japanese TV Asahi, adding that the Abe government “is most nervously checking what the media say, because what’s said on television affects his support ratings.”
“It sounds as if the government can suspend the activities of broadcasters or remove newscasters just because they criticized the government,” said Soichiro Okuno, an MP for the Democratic Party of Japan.
“Of all ruling Liberal Democratic Party governments, the Abe administration is most nervously checking what the media say, because what’s said on television affects his support ratings,” Shuntaro Torigoe, a former Mainichi newspaper journalist and news anchor on TV Asahi, said. “In Japan today, rather than the media watching the authorities, the government watches the media.”
The journalists also criticize the MSM for not fighting hard enough for press freedom.
“It’s not so much about political pressure, it’s about deterioration in the media,” said Soichiro Tahara, one of Japan’s most respected journalists, who is known for asking politicians tough questions. “To me, the most serious problem is self-restraint by higher-ups at broadcast stations.”
Reuters News Police Removes Comment on Japan’s Corrupt Politics
A comment concerning the corrupt state of politics in Japan, posted at reuters.com by one of our readers, was disallowed/ removed by Reuters news police.
The reader contended, and we’ve confirmed, that the comment contained original quotes from a book written by a prominent Japanese businessman, humanitarian and author, Toshihiko Abe, who was a former Director of European and American Operations at Casio Ltd.
The book, titled “Japan’s Hidden Face: A Call for Radical Change In Japanese Society & Commerce,” published by BainBridge Books, Philadelphia, is available in the United States and Japan.
“Japanese govt forced Mainichi to remove thousands of articles. My blog had links to about 20,000 reports of rape and other acts of sexual violence perpetrated against woman by Japanese police officers, teachers and other civil servants over a period of four years.”