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The Foreign Ministry has ordered freelance journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka, 49, to surrender his passport to prevent him from traveling to war-torn Yemen, which he says is a violation of his constitutional rights. The Foreign Ministry says countries such as Yemen and Syria are danger zones and advises Japanese nationals to immediately leave those countries or not visit them. Do you think journalists like Tsuneoka should be allowed to go to such dangerous places where they run the risk of being kidnapped or killed?

14 Comments

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14 Comments
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Rather than banning him from traveling why not just make him sign a declaration understanding that Japan cannot pay a single yen for his return if he gets himself into trouble. You can go, but it’s totally on you pal! Done.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

No, but what Tsuneoka said in an Asahi article I just read is an important point:

“The government’s forcing of me to surrender my passport and stop me from visiting any country is a violation of freedom of foreign travel guaranteed by the Constitution. This is nothing but an act of obstruction of journalistic activities.”

Is it necessary for a freelance Japanese journalist to report from Yemen? I'm not sure but if the government's move is violating the constitution that's certainly cause for concern. What if Abe gets his wish and he's able to revise the constitution? What if this leads to Japanese military eventually joining one of many global conflicts? Would J-journalists be barred from those theatres as well, b/c the government doesn't want their own actions exposed?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Ricky and @jcapan, two very logical thoughts. Unfortunately, Japanese politics isn't so logical. I agree with both of you. It's his neck, let him put it in the noose, if that's what he wants. It's his neck.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Agree with @Ricky. If someone has a death wish, let him go. But waste no taxpayer’s money when things go bad. Make him and his relatives put something in writing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ricky got it right!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Never heard of a govt taking a citizens passport preventing legal travel with no laws broken, as I understand. Not in the democratic world anyway.

Perhaps such cases exist - anyone know?

And I guess this is more about Abe not wishing to attract any attention that could be evenly mildly misconstrued as negative for Japan when he's on the PR roll of his life. G20, Rugby, Olympics, Russia, NK, SK, Trump etc etc.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Never heard of a govt taking a citizens passport preventing legal travel with no laws broken, as I understand. Not in the democratic world anyway.

Perhaps such cases exist - anyone know?

This is becoming a trend. The US is also leaning in this direction. The problem is that so many sheeple have been trained to believe that freedom of movement (i.e. a passport) is a privilege rather than a basic human right. Unless they wake up, this will become commonplace.

Most people just don't care until it affects them personally, by which time it is usually too late.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

.

No

Govt is correct.

It becomes a debacle where the journalist is videotaped, on his knees in an orange gown, straddled by hooded gunsmen, pleading for ransom money - and J Gov't end up blowing taxpayers money to free the jerk.

.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Isn't this the guy that whined about the government not doing enough to rescue him last time.. and has specifically stated he desires to go BACK?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And when journalists are curtailed, not allowed report from places of conflict, what then?

Where will you find out the truth, about the people, the humanity? The causes and consequences?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

He should be able to go where he wants, but he needs to realise he's on his own out there and can't expect Japan to intervene in any way to get hm out when he, inevitably, gets into trouble.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And when journalists are curtailed, not allowed report from places of conflict, what then?

Where will you find out the truth, about the people, the humanity? The causes and consequences?

Sadly, people seem to be more concerned with money than with truth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In Japan you are never really an adult - the government is your parent. If you were 15 years old, your parent could justly confiscate your passport, but as an adult, you make your own decisions. If he wants to go to Yemen and potentially die, that is his risk and his decision. Just as it is with those who go mountaineering or caving. In this case, the government is acting as a parent in charge of a teenager.

But as an adult you should take responsibility for your actions. You can't expect your parents to bail you out.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No government in a FREE country (which Japan ain't !) should EVER interfere with the press/media !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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