Japan bars journalist from going to Yemen

By Saleh Al-Obeidi

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If you're gonna go, just go. Don't tell anyone. I don't believe in preventing journalists from doing thier job. They know the risk. If they get into to trouble, they're on thier own.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is not a good sign from the Regime, already Japans press is controled and rates extremely low. It now has freedom of movement restrictions. The government is obviously in fear of reporters, and needs to exercise total control on everything even their travel plans.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Unless the govt has evidence he plans to engage in some sort of crime, this would appear to be a violation of his constitutional rights. Maybe they're looking to avoid having to pay ransom, who knows...

9 ( +11 / -2 )

While he should be able to go to Yemen it's possible that he could get into trouble-ie.locked up for some reason then he and his family and friends would be "demanding" that the Japanese Government get him released. The way things are in Yemen anyone wanting to go there presumably would have little or no sense of self preservation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is not about the dangers to the journalists. It's about the politics if things do go awry, like that last idiot in Syria. They are captured and tortured and expect the government to step in and bail them out. I actually support this move.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This is a shameful violation of the freedom of press in a country which is ruled by a non-democratic authoritarian regime. A democracy does not prevent journalists from doing their work which is to inform. If Japan can do this sort of violation on a freelance journalist, it can do it as well on all journalists inside the country. Actually it does.

Countries that do respect the freedom of press have their journalists working in Yemen right now and are not using obscure reasons to prevent them to go there. Yes there are risks, as always in a war zone. That's part of the work, those countries and journalists understand and accept those risks. If a journalist gets into trouble, that's the government responsibility to do its best to help him. Because freedom of press is accepted from the beginning as a core value.

A government can't defend the freedom of press but when things get dangerous or uncomfortable decide that it's not the case anymore. Doing otherwise is called being hypocrite and coward at best, or worse not willing to accept the freedom of press.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Another example of nanny state. I

think American or European journalists are more at risk when reporting from war zones in middle east but that doesn't stop them from getting there and letting the world know about the atrocities, their respective governments do not only not stop them from going in the dangerous area but provide them full support in case of a mishap and try their citizens back home alive. But Japanese government just blames and shames the family of victims.

Japan is the most twisted form of "democracy" I have ever seen, where people apparently have no rights but obligations to the Japanese government and LDP goons in the government have all the rights but no responsibilities to people.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

daito_hak, I fully agree. It is a reporters job and duty to report the facts on the ground. Attempting to stop that is deeply anti-democratic. It is a governments duty to support and assist its citizens as best it can when they get in to trouble (though in some circumstances like kidnap, they are fairly limited in what they can do) not to use some spurious excuse to prevent them doing their jobs and then blaming them if they get into trouble as an excuse for the governments inadequacy, ineptitude or laziness.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've been to Iraq 3x and Afghanistan once, which believe it or not, are rather subdued compared to Syria.

If you want to go, go, but don't expect anyone else to come GET you; "You made your bed".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

On my passport it states "This passport remains the property of the minister for foreign affairs"

I guess it must be the same on a Japanese PP more or less ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How stupid. If he really wants to go, he could just fly to Turkey or Dubai or somewhere else nearby and then make his way there. Sounds like a stunt.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This smacks of being a publicity stunt. I am a Japanese citizen and travel on a Japanese passport. I am familiar with the procedure for leaving Japan. You are not required to present any proof or documentation of where you are going or what you will be doing. He could have said he was going to Paris as a tourist and then taken a flight from France to Yemen.

Again, as a Japanese citizen, I do not see this as a freedom of the press issue unless he was going to Yemen to report on Japanese government activities in that country.

I would also note that Japan has relatively few travel restrictions compared to some other "democratic" countries. The US is far more restrictive than Japan. Japanese who want to go to Cuba can just go. It is very difficult for US citizens to do so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder how the government knew where he planned to go. He could use the automatic gates at the airport and not talk to anyone. Either the government has been breaking the law by going through his personal communications, or he has been blabbing about his trip when he could have kept his mouth shut. Which could it be?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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