NHK's broadcasting center in Tokyo Photo: WIKIPEDIA

Gov't considers abolishing political fairness clause in broadcasting law


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The government plans to abolish Article 4 of Japan's broadcasting law, which provides that a broadcaster shall not negatively influence public safety and morals, shall be politically fair, shall not distort the facts and shall clarify the points at issue from as many angles as possible where there are conflicting opinions.

In simpler terms : Abe wants his own Fox News.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

"All hail Abe! Ave imperator Abe! May he reign for a 1,000 years!

...And now, the weather..."

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Reagan's decision to do this in 1987 helped lead to the toxic media and political environment in the US today. And with the partisan relativization of truth, it helped lead to Trump.

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In simpler terms : Abe wants his own Fox News.

He already has it. NHK.

No this is about complete media control. This is Abe consolidating his hold on Japan. First you had the state secrets law. Now you have media control.

By loosening regulations for TV and radio programs, the government aims to help more businesses enter into the broadcasting market, but the envisioned overhaul is likely to spark controversy as broadcasters with strong party colors could be established.

Really? and what businesses do they think will enter the market? Why more right wing media of course. And if the left wing media DARE try to influence anything, well those shiny black vans can always pay them a visit.

This is frightening. Truly frightening. If this happens, we are going to be in real trouble folks.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Wait, the government wants a pro-government media outlet?

Isn't NHK enough?

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The government is probably hoping to create a broadcaster that speaks for the administration."

Hmmm.....something tells me I think that goal has already been reached a while back.

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Not good!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

In simpler terms : Abe wants his own Fox News.

He already has it. NHK.

Breitbart or Infowar then !

7 ( +7 / -0 )

With almost all tv media - incl nhk - taking a negative swipe at the current Moritomo shenanigans, there's no-one to bat on Abe's side. How dare the "fairness" restriction be unfair to us - that's not fair! lol.

This is surely a move to create a network in "read my lips" mode, with sympathies aligning with LDP Inc.

Already canned for it's World Press Freedom Index rank of 72, this regime under the guise of leaping higher up the ladder, only wants more control.

The citizens are finally stirring.

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Another nail in the coffin of Japanese broadcasting.

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I like the impartiality of the media here relative to the easily identifiable biased ones in the States. I hope the govt. doesn't let Abe do this. BTW, I like NHK.

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Nippon Kaigi TV, Nippon Kaigi schools, Nippon Kaigi gov't

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This is only a move to boost powerful broadcasters like NHK’s positive and protectionist view of the government.

This will enable beoadcasters with state subsidies to only air pro-governmental programs. This is alarming, especially with the upcoming article 9 debate!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Bit confused... from what I've read the idea is to allow TV companies to be more diverse in their output. How is that a bad thing?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I can just see the Nippon Kaigi and YOmiuri Shimbun champing at the bit with this. Abe will start his own NK-like media outlet. And of course, organizations that form that do not fly the party colors will be disallowed based on the Secrets Act, as they would be against the State and threats.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Yeah, Reagan did away with the fairness in broadcasting law, and look what has happened to the USA. Does Japan really need to go that way?

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The government already over influences the media, there are way too many times that journalists and broadcasters were called in for discussions about content, with the knowledge that if they didnt toe the line they would be cut off from access to the PM

THat is why all these fools lick the boots of the PM and his spokesman Suga.

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Big government is scary and guaranteed evil. Say no

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That's actually a pretty clever move by Abe. He's giving less financed groups a chance at TV coverage, but it also means, the over-financed LDP will have an open slather to do whatever the heck they like on TV. What's next? A 30m statue of Abe in Kasumigaseki?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I as surprised to hear of the USA dropping the principle of fairness in political reporting (way back in 1987). Lack of information and understanding causes me to eschew voting over there anymore.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

oh no Japan will have CNN and Fox. Why do you copy America's bad parts? Copy the good parts.

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The one party state of Japan run by the LDP wants to stay the one party state. NHK is already useless as it is merely a PR channel for the Abe nonsense. Trump now going to NK to see his alter ego ended the lies regarding NK on NHK.

This is about killing Asahi News which first reported the coverup in the LDP. Killing any press that would challenge the LDP and Abe.

This country needs desperately new leadership. Abe was and is and always will be a total failure.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Im very surprised a dictator-ish person like Abe would want something so Liberal. In fact, just as he said, abolishing this law, which is largely used as a political tool to make the press self-censor itself would in fact spur competition among the media, which is a good thing. Japanese people need to be exposed to more variety of different views and opinions. There is no problem to have a media dedicated to praising Abe or even Nippon Kaigi as long as there is media dedicated to doing the opposite. Advocacy journalism is important and necessary ingredient for a pluralistic democracy.

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I forgot to mention, another very important and necessary step for press freedom would be to abolish the Press Clubs.

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Abe takes a page from Xi’s notebook seeing how Xi can get 3000 People’s members under his thumb but he can’t even handle 300.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is unbelievable for Abe to propose such policy because he traveled around world to promote democratic values and rule based world. Now he changed his color to attack fairness and justice. Remember 100 years ago when Japan was imperialism nation ? It was the propaganda that led Japan to the war and that led to the destroy of Japan as a nation.

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I'm in principle for not having to force all TV stations to be "politically fair", but coming from Abe, I really doubt he has good intentions in mind.

The fairness of NHK is already in question, and the fact that people are forcefully paying for what has basically become a LDP propaganda machine isn't fair at all.

If the government really had good intentions in mind, they would either get rid of NHK, privatize it, or making it mandatory for NHK to be the only "fair" broadcast network, but for that there should be a big reform in the way NHK is being funded so that NHK has more editorial liberty to do their own thing without fear of having their budget cut.

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Maybe a very grateful Moritomo could squeeze a few more ¥ out of the government to start a broadcasting station now that the school idea flopped.

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I'm sure there’s method to his madness.

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This is good news. Why do we have to have two opinions? Just one govt, one law. One media. Censorship. The 4th arrow will succeed.

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In the United States, TV and radio programs are said to have developed stronger party colors, aiding a social division in the country after the principle of broadcasting fairness was abolished in 1987.

The Left, knowing that their minions dominate newsrooms are desperately seeking to prevent any news organization with an alternative perspective to compete with their statist propaganda. So even one popular news organization or radio broadcast network that may arise that fails to adhere to the party line it drives them into a tizzy. They are not satisfied dominating 90% of the airwaves. It’s why Fox News drives the American Left insane. It’s why NHK can barely be tolerated by the far Left. True alternative viewpoints that bypass the Lefts ideological filter is intolerable.

Their never would have been a Fox News if the traditional news outfits at CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, etc would have presented the news by giving the facts without the Leftist spin. Journalists openly state that the reason they got into the profession was due to a desire to change things - speak truth to power in the Leftist lexicon. That of course is not journalism, it is advocacy.

A vibrant Democracy requires alternative points of view. What the Left wants with their publicly funded news media and “fairness” regulations is a mouthpiece for big government and socialism. That’s anti-free speech and unbecoming of a country claiming to be free and democratic.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

This doesn't bode well for Japan.

The irresponsibility of allowing Fox News clearly destroyed the USA. Their science and knowledge is all circling the drain as the rightwing enables the deplorables in order to achieve power rather than by reason. As long as the USA is stupid, the right will exist.

Elon Musk is from South Africa, Steve Jobs parents were from Syria. Might be some hope left if the Republican Taliban can be evicted from office.

Until the rabid rightwing view of ignorance is gone, the shining light on the hill is now a danger signal to go away

Japan would be worse off, as the rightwing never left and the Nippon Kaigi would be everywhere overnight. Might even have broadcasters in full IJA regalia

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Thunderbird: Bit confused... from what I've read the idea is to allow TV companies to be more diverse in their output. How is that a bad thing?

Exactly! Government regulated media will give you what is in the governments interest. That isn’t diversity of thought. The only reason to want to prevent diversity of thought is because you fear that the people will think for themselves.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Allowing more competition is good, but not at the expense of political neutrality.

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Take one look at the totally dysfunctional American media to realize this is a very bad idea.

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Why do you copy America's bad parts? Copy the good parts.

It's all a matter of perception. For Abe and the LDP the "good" parts are changing laws like this, because it gives them a better opportunity to put their message out to the people, on more channels than any opposition.

Oh and Japan can't copy the good parts about America, like diversity and freedom of the press. Just out of curiosity what else would you think that Japan SHOULD copy from America?

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"we are getting rid of political fairness" just sounds wrong

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Allowing more competition is good, but not at the expense of political neutrality.

There is no such thing as political neutrality. All people have a point of view - particularly those that are involved in journalism. They become journalists in order to change things in the way they think is for the better. In America, the media was dominated by the political Left. When a different point of view was allowed, there was a tremendous amount of pent up demand for the airing of diverse opinions.

Any nations media and press are improved when more diverse opinions are available. The battle of ideas make it possible to better understand an issue rather than simply receiving government approved news. The Left in America and apparently in Japan see non-Leftist views to be a threat. The effort to prevent alternative points of view reveals the Lefts authoritarian tendencies.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yubaru: Oh and Japan can't copy the good parts about America, like diversity and freedom of the press. 

Diversity of opinion is a good thing. Focusing on people’s demographic differences over the content of their character is not. Freeing the Japanese press from government censorship will result in greater diversity.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

IMO, this would be a terrible mistake. Pres. Reagan did a very similar thing here in the States, and it led to the rise of things like Fox News (famous for being a propaganda outlet for the far right).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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