politics

Conservatives push agenda at NHK

51 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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51 Comments
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Really bad news. Abe is obviously rushing to make Japan as much like China as possible - he wants a state controlled propaganda machine instead of a serious news organisation. This fits nicely with the new draconian punishments for transgressing unwritten rules regarding 'secrets'. The two countries' stances re the islands are already identical - childishly pretending there isn't a dispute and acting as if the other didn't exist. Oh dear.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

What is really sad about all this is that the Japanese population has very little interest in how the politics are handled in this country, meaning he can get away with so much. At this rate, Japan will slowly start acting more and more like its neighbors and give even less freedom for people to think for themselves as to what is right or wrong.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

What a bunch of nutters.

Yeah there were plenty of "problems with the post-World War II U.S.-led tribunal that prosecuted Japanese war criminals". The problems were that the US occupation forces decided, in the interest of fighting the cold war, not to give life-sentences to the right-wing fascist kooks who were responsible for starting the war - instead they actually gave them positions of authority in the goverment and actively supported the LDP.

We are all paying the price for this now.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

NHK was pathetic and spineless when I dumped it. It's becoming something more sinister now.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

"need to promote “correct education” for the public." NHK -sounding more and more like a dictatorship`s mouthpiece spewing out "approved and correct " information and curtailing freedom of speech every day.

"Abe acknowledged that the four new board members are his trusted people, but denied any intention to exercise influence over NHK." Anyone who believes this statement, please come and see me asap,,I have some fine real estate to sell you.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Professor Hasegawa has to get over her fixation with clowns like Nomura, who was rightly skewered by the Asahi in the best political cartoon I have seen in 20+ plus years in this country.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I hope that someone can analyze what is actually going on.

At this rate, Abe is going to become the George W. Bush of Asia and destroy Japan with his far-right politics. It has already happened with America. America is gone... it's no longer functioning. I'm sure that it's not just Abe who's behind this. I just want to know who is behind all this push towards extreme nationalism.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Most Japanese people I know have no concept of left or right wing; they just accept what they hear/read as gospel, because it was on TV or in the newspaper.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Japan's conduct throughout the war (WWII) should not be sugar-coated but exposed fully. It is an obligation that is necessary for historical accuracy. Millions of people were enslaved, tortured and killed by the Japanese. We owe them and the world, the assurance that it will never be forgotten.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

This is really disturbing. It seems to me that the other broadcast networks could make a name (names) for themselves by digging into this.

Unfortunately the concept of "wa" allows the majority to be lead along like sheep by those who choose to do so.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

NHK, the country’s most respected radio and television network,

Ouch!

has been buffeted by a series of developments in the past two weeks that have thrust concern over Abe’s influence on the appointments into the headlines.

While I naturally agree a public broadcaster should basically be independent from the government, NHK has seen loads of scandals over the years, I'm not sure that it is really so greatly "respected" at all. Most people I know don't watch it.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This is really disturbing. It seems to me that the other broadcast networks could make a name (names) for themselves by digging into this.

Fat chance... Other broadcasters are also controlled by bureaucrats and the ad sponsors.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

With all the dumb comments coming out of NHK recently, is anyone surprised? Really?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I feel by paying my NHK fees, I have also been unwittingly supporting a mouthpiece for a right-wing regime. NHK's raison d'etre, like the BBC in the UK (upon which NHK is supposed to be modeled) is to provide totally independent broadcasting. If this kind of service is not provided, there is absolutely no reason for NHK to exist. I want my money back!!!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Let the brainwashing begin.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

NHK fees boycott! No more paying for nationalist crapoganda!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Now that the trouble makers at NHK have been revealed; hang them! Very soon the Japanese people will see for themselves how much unnecessary trouble Shinzo Abe and his gang of thugs have brought the country. Self ego over-rides the general welfare of the people and country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To hell with NHK. Only good thing I can think of that will come of this is that the ultranationalist programming will be so boring that people will switch channels and NHK's ratings will crash.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe confidante Michiko Hasegawa, stressed the need to promote “correct education” for the public.

Felt like someone walked over my grave when I read that - Brrr.

Well I guess this is filling in a more complete picture as to some of the high profile "gaffes" of late that have been hastily explained away as naivete or personal opinions that happen to have been expressed in official situations.

It's always a viable form of protest to refuse to pay your NHK fees when they next come knocking - as long as you make it clear to the collector as to exactly what it is that you object to about NHK's board.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

it's no longer functioning. I'm sure that it's not just Abe who's behind this. I just want to know who is behind all this push towards extreme nationalism.

Where is the right-wing figurehead Shintaro Ishihara? Wasn't he prominent in LDP just a few years ago cherrypicking the subordinate he sees fit?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

These people aren't "Conservatives".

They're radical, revisionist, rightist lunatics.

The opposite of conservative.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This combined with Japan's new secrety laws are not a good thing

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Wow JUST WOW!!!

This is some seriously scary &%$!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'To hell with NHK. Only good thing I can think of that will come of this is that the ultranationalist programming will be so boring that people will switch channels and NHK's ratings will crash.' I wish I could believe that but the screaming idiocy on the other channels offers an alternative to only those playing without a full deck.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Most Japanese people I know have no concept of left or right wing; they just accept what they hear/read as gospel, because it was on TV or in the newspaper.

@Bilderberg - I haven't found that in my own experiences, but there does certainly seem to be an appreciation for the middle ground among the people I know.

They don't mind that Abe has a mandate as long as he consults with the other parties and takes public consensus into account before making policy.

It's not an attitude to politics that I can get my head around to be honest.

So far we've seen the secrets bill passed through very quickly - the Govt response to public reaction on that one was along the lines of: "well it's done now so there's no use complaining".

We've seen the likely restart of most if not all of the idle nuclear reactors, and again public opinion was not exactly in line with that either.

A visit to Yasukuni that most people objected to and brought about a remarkable low point in diplomatic relations in many years.

We've got an Ahonomics - not really explained comprehensively and seemingly depending on the 30 or 40 year old idea that salaries will increase in line with inflation.

It doesn't seem that the middle ground is doing a lot of good for the average Japanese voter to me.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yes,seriously scary but not surprising.

"Only good thing I can think of that will come of this is that the ultranationalist programming will be so boring that people will switch channels and NHK's ratings will crash.'"

No, the opposite might happen. If hyakuta has his way there will be moving tearjerker dramas about ww2 reinforcing the revisionist viewpoint. Just remember, this guy is considered to be a history expert.

Yep, scary.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They should be called anti-Japanists.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Another new board member, Abe confidante Michiko Hasegawa, stressed the need to promote “correct education” for the public.

Poor, poor Japan. Seems these folks have not learned the single biggest lesson from history, and that is that the a country that does not learn from its mistakes is bound to repeat them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Where is the right-wing figurehead Shintaro Ishihara?

My guess is that he's already got one foot in the grave, otherwise we'd still be hearing about him.

NHK is really getting on my nerves. Even after telling them I don't have a TV, they still come back (different person each time). It's as if they don't listen. The last one started setting up a contract on his electronic device immediately after introducing himself without even asking me whether I had a TV. I felt like slamming the door in his face. Desperate to get every single yen out of me, he then asked whether I had a computer capable of receiving signals or a smartphone, etc. I 'may or may not' have one-seg on my phone, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for signals which I can't even get in my own home or at most other times.

Now with these facists on the NHK committee, they can go jump off a cliff. Having no TV suits me fine. Nothing worth watching most of the times. Sorry but even the Korean dramas are more exciting.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Pukey2: These NHK guys are going to take over Japanese Govt. Not like Ishihara type right wing. Abe should be careful. Years ago, his grandpa Kishi was almost assassinated by then right wing which already assassinated Dem, Soc party ' head Asanuma, Conservatives will be kicked out from Govt. They are just Ultra Right Wing. Ordinal Right wing like Ishihara will be kicked out,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Abe proposed that NHK should do more to educate the public about Japan’s territorial claims on islands at the center of a dispute"

Who's stopping him? Abe's fixation on uninhabited atolls seems bizarre. Didn't Japan just suffer the worst nuclear disaster in history? Isn't Tokyo getting ready for the Olympics? Mr. Abe is fascinated by these atolls? There are bigger fish to fry.

NHK did stop a nuclear economist from reporting on the cost of nuclear energy if accident is calculated in, hmmm. "NHK denied any political influence over its editorial decisions" - article

Hasegawa, stressed the need to promote “correct education” for the public.

Really? Is free and open examination important too, or is that incorrect?

"Momii (also) said, “We cannot say left when the government says right,” suggesting NHK would be loyal to the government’s policies, including the territorial disputes."

We cannot offer anything but Government approved content.

Yasuhiko Tajima, a media law professor at Sophia University in Tokyo. “I even feel democracy is at risk.”

How would NHK's board address this concern? One answer appears here:

"NHK. . . The broadcaster was criticized for altering a 2001 program on wartime Japanese sex slavery, allegedly after Abe and another ruling party lawmaker complained, although both sides denied political pressure caused the change."

The answer seems to be, if Government and NHK decide together they are not acting inappropriately by using NHK for political ends, as long as they agree, there's no problem. Just like North Korea.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There is nothing to discuss and no argument to have about this unacceptable situation:

SHAME!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SHAME! SHAME!

Abe is turning the Japanese image that I admired into a fiasco! Abenomic is unsustainable economic disaster waiting to happen, Japan is not the only one can play the currency war~ Thought it help sales but for how long? Further inflation will only promote frugality among the middle class....

STUPID revisionism attempt by right wing fossils will only condemn Japan into shame. Do the math, Japan revised history = outrage by neighbors = Bad image = less sales (at least most people I've know switch to Korean made products) . The Japanese masses are no better than their government, for they did nothing.... All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.. In this case, for an idiotic Abe government to prevail is for the population to do nothing!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Correct history is that that follows the party line. Public broadcasting becomes party propaganda machine and the public has no say so in it. Add the new secrets act.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The public would, in general, simply not watch NHK. Some might be duped into believing the right wingers but most Japanese won't buy it.

Still, this shows that Abe isn't focused on the urgent matters. He seems to be more interested in turning back the clock to pre-war nationalism. By trying this he's going to get China upset while accomplishing nothing.

Confronting China's expansionist policy would also get China upset, but it would be the right move for the area. Abe is going to miss the opportunity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Indoctrination is at hand. When it comes down to it, I do not believe the Japanese (or any people) will go against it if it doesn't disturb their quality of life. Rather, threatening that very thing is what will pacify them as it militarizes along a radical right agenda.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A couple of "Devil's Advocate" points to ponder:

There is every reason to be scared and infuriated by the statements made by Abe's appointees on the NHK board. But don't lose sight of the fact that they were put there by the prime minister. The one put in power by a democratic election. The views of the LDP and Abe weren't secrets. Isn't it possible that this is the government the people want? If so, isn't it possible that these views are shared by the majority of Japanese people? If so, the thing that's most "incorrect" is your perspective on Japan and its people.

Just a couple of thoughts to chew on.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why is ABE trying so hard to stir things up? I am beginning to think his ultimate goal is to arm Japan with a NUKE one day. Why else would he be so combative and belligerent? Every time North Korea start to threaten with a NUKE I could hear his blood vessel in the corner of his head bulging... JPN must never be Armed w/ a NUKE as long as there are possibilities of Nationalists like ABE becoming leader of JPN.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NHK = Nationalist Hick Koalition..?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The board members are being to sound like the "gang of 12", as in China during Mao. Seems that NK was wrong when they called Abe a "Hitler", he more like a "Stalin". Hasegawa sounds like a Minister of Propaganda. So when are they going to rename NHK to 真実.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It seems rather silly that some are tossing around words like "indoctrination" and talking about "right wingers." Have elections suddenly stopped in Japan? Has Democracy been replaced by serfdom? The people elected the LDP knowing Abe would be PM. The people elected the governor of Tokyo who supports Abe. This is democracy in action. Japan needs to stand up for itself and tell its own narrative of the war, of the Truth.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

homeleand

It seems rather silly that some are tossing around words like "indoctrination" and talking about "right wingers." Have elections suddenly stopped in Japan? Has Democracy been replaced by serfdom? The people elected the LDP knowing Abe would be PM. The people elected the governor of Tokyo who supports Abe. This is democracy in action. Japan needs to stand up for itself and tell its own narrative of the war, of the Truth.

I wish it was that simple. But the indoctrination has started long before the NHK. I mean how are the citizens supposed to make informed decisions about the elections, when all the broadcasters are like the NHK now, and never tell the truth, or even how their government works? Seen from the outside, Japan is a "democratic" country. But in actuality, it's not, because pretty much everything is managed in Japan, from the TV to the newspaper to education to work to even relationships, more or less. The Japanese are cleverly herded... like a horde of sheep...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

They're radical, revisionist, rightist lunatics. The opposite of conservative.

Yes to the first, no to the second. They are in the conservative camp, and reasonable, sensible conservatives need to be aware of who their "buddies" are so they can help us cut them out of politics.

See, there is no political group immune to the desire for revisionism. Its just the motives that change. Conservatives desire revisionism to make their past seem like something to be proud of, even if it totally isn't. Conservatives believe that a self-identity one can be proud of is more important than the truth. They believe deference to authority is more important than individual thought, and so they want to the authority of the past to be seen as something that could be relied on in order to support the idea that authority can be relied on today too. Conservatives worship a strong central government, not people power.

You might call these neo-cons, but they sure as hell are not the opposite of conservative, which would be liberal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Edumund Fitzgerald "They are in the conservative camp, and reasonable, sensible conservatives need to be aware of who their "buddies" are so they can help us cut them out of politics." I agree with you. Reasonable conservatives should separate themselves from radical right wingers. And I also think reasonable good minded liberals should also stay away from people who are just expressing propagandas or from radical left wingers. But the problem that seems to exist is, radical right wingers tend to criticize all liberals as if they are brainwashed by propaganda, on the other hand, many left wingers tend to criticize any historical view different from them as revisionist view. There are sincerely good minded liberals, and I think there are historical view different from liberals and still not revisionism.

"See, there is no political group immune to the desire for revisionism." I also agree, but I think it is fair to say there are revisionist(in a different way) on both sides, liberals and conservatives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sorry but I just don't believe Abe and his fascist group would encounter much resistance to anything they do - look at what they've gotten away with so far. There'll be some criticism (usually by rights groups), but then after a while it's business as usual. It's so ironic that in a so-called democracy where people are allowed to vote for their leaders they don't bother doing anything or even going out to vote half the times. In China, you'll face hard labour for even saying the wrong thing and yet you still get so many people voicing their opinions, risking their lives and people going out demanding their rights (before being arrested).

A few years back, the Chinese government decided to start replacing more and more Cantonese language programmes on Guangzhou TV with Mandarin ones - hardly as scary as what Abe is trying to do, and yet the local citizens were furious and went out in large numbers to protest. Do the Japanese not care or are they in agreement with Abe. I can say this - nobody else will care for the Japanese if they don't care for themselves first. I'm lucky - as a foreigner, I can leave Japan permanently any time. Can't say the same for my Japanese partner.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's all well and good us foreigners reading an unbiased article on the situation and debating it online, But the real question is are the Japanese public being made aware of what's happening here? What's the most unbiased Japanese newspaper/news agency currently in Japan? I feel I want to spread the word to my Japanese friends

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Eiji Takano,

You could substitute "Britain" for "Japan" and "BBC" for "NHK" in your comment and have the same thing. It works for the US, France, China, Russia, Norway - and whatever other country you want! There's no empirical evidence, nothing backing up the claims whatsoever. It sounds like the Alex Jones style conspiracy theories trotted back out for another round: "The media is controlled in Japan! Did you know Bigfoot did 9/11 with help from Soros, so Obama could open Chinese paramilitary abortion camps? And Japan's not really a democracy!" It's all the same.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

homleand FEB. 16, 2014 - 02:07AM JST You could substitute "Britain" for "Japan" and "BBC" for "NHK" in your comment and have the same thing. It works for the US, France, China, Russia, Norway - and whatever other country you want! There's no empirical evidence, nothing backing up the claims whatsoever. It sounds like the Alex Jones style conspiracy theories trotted back out for another round: "The media is controlled in Japan! Did you know Bigfoot did 9/11 with help from Soros, so Obama could open Chinese paramilitary abortion camps? And Japan's not really a democracy!" It's all the same.

What the hell are you even talking about? Any countries you listed except China don't really have bad ties or horrible relation with the neighbour countries. Their representative TV network doesn't even need to be over the top nationalistic. Even if they do, the people has common sense to distinguish the truth from lies spew by bonehead simpleton like David Cameron. Think before you write this kind of diatribe. It's just you right-wingers that believe Japan's democratic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

homeland

You could substitute "Britain" for "Japan" and "BBC" for "NHK" in your comment and have the same thing. It works for the US, France, China, Russia, Norway - and whatever other country you want! There

No, it doesn't. There's no way that BBC has a top manager that says things like "If the government says 'right', then we can't say 'left'." If that isn't a proof of government-controlled media, then I don't know what is.

There's no empirical evidence, nothing backing up the claims whatsoever. It sounds like the Alex Jones style conspiracy theories trotted back out for another round: "The media is controlled in Japan!

Read Karel van Wolferen's "Enigma of Japanese Power". Many Japanese don't disagree. It's called the "press club", they are essentially controlled by the bureaucrats (through pressure and intimidation) and if you have any independent views then you are barred from entering the "press club".

You know, even the ex-PM (who was quite nationalistic in the past, after all he visited Yasukuni) Koizumi had said that it was strange that there was so much discrepancy between the media reporting of his electioneering campaigns versus what he had actually felt in the streets.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Need to enforce "correct" education ?... What about honest and truthful ones? Seems like these ABE Cronies are set on brainwashing Japan's future...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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