politics

Japanese journalists accuse gov't of pressuring media

57 Comments

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A few good men...

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Kudos to these journalists. Standing up and setting an example.

As for Abe, let's consider the agenda he is pursuing: stronger security laws that can be used to intimidate, "patriotic" education, a desire for military adventure, an intolerance of critical press, just to name a few. Thank you, Mr. China Wannabe.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

This is not good for journalism, not for an enlightened society. In today's world, as in the past 100 years, at least, investigative reporting is the only thing that keeps politicians honest. Or at least on their toes, afraid to commit egregious behavior. God help Japan if its media's backbone crumbles in the face of an illegitimate challenge like this. Certainly wouldn't happen in my home country.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Expect a whole lot more of this when Abe's draconian Security law goes into operation.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

There goes the freedom of speech, the freedom of press.

ATABOY for those journalists, and I hope they will continue with critical reporting - one way or the other.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are fundamental in having a just society, there is slander law in most countries to cover retracting fallacious material but opinion pieces and people's own opinions like them or not should be able to be expressed.

As for young people not having fighting spirit, they are the product of a system that seems to be set up to precisely keep them in-line, squash individuality and innovation...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Finally, finally, finally a few brave journalists are daring to stand up to Abe and his war on press freedom. I suspect this one more sign that Abe is on his way out.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Abe and his corrupt cronies are so afraid of people telling or hearing the truth, or even opposing opinions. Are they, the pols, going to run to their "safety spaces" like crybabies? Journalists have cowered so long that it may now be too late.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Japan’s broadcast law says programs must be “politically fair,”

That could mean lots of things to lots of people, and definitely something different between politicians and general public.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The question is, will they stand by their convictions, disobey, and report what needs to be reported?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not just the government but media doing it to others as well!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

2015 World Press Freedom Index (1) Finland (61) Japan

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan doesn't have to fear China if they become it

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is a very good sign; Japanese are losing their freedoms gradually and they are not even aware (or care) it is happening right in front of their eyes.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I applaud these journalists, but...

...holding a press conference to complain is only the very first step in actually doing something about this problem. So before I stand up and cheer, my first question to them is, "What are you going to do next?"

Because if all the quality journalists are meekly resigning when asked to do so, then holding a press conference to complain doesn't solve the problem. Suppression of journalism is news. Why isn't it being covered in-depth on the news?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

My spouse just said to me that we are turning into China.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

on the surface, i can see why most people are upset. a form of censorship is happening because newscasters are being asked not to interject their personal opinions when delivering the news. but on the other hand, i can see the gov't's point of view. left-leaning or right-leaning news can have a tremendous affect on people watching it. just look at fox news and msnbc. i don't know which is better to be honest. i can see the detrimental effects of fox news but also see the detrimental effects of non-inquisitive broadcasters.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

Since when do you need a license to be critical of the governments' failures? How does the government expect journalists to be impartial or fair when decisions they make are nothing but for self interest, with the threat of revoking licenses because some are critical.

Nothing they do is for the public or in the publics' interest. Selfserveing career politicians, nothing more.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

nakanoguy01MAR. 25, 2016 - 10:00AM JST on the surface, i can see why most people are upset. a form of censorship is happening because newscasters are being asked not to interject their personal opinions when delivering the news.

That's not what's happening.

Another respected journalist, Hiroko Kuniya, a presenter for NHK public television’s prime-time news show Close-up Gendai, angered Suga when she pressed him with unscripted questions about the security legislation, reportedly triggering a strong protest from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Kuniya didn't give her personal opinion, she simply asked questions that had not been pre-approved by the government. Don't read into the story things that aren't part of it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Hurrah for these journalists, and for the FCCJ.

Pump up the volume, freedom loving citizens!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nothing new, and the press clubs (keisha kai) are the worst for pressuring journalists to walk the government line.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It's a classic scenario for how censorship works. Once the govt has the threat of censorship and penalties in place, people just censor themselves. The higher ups in these organizations are frightened. Younger journalists don't know what a free press is, because as time goes by, more and more of them have never worked for one. They think they are in the advertising business. "Don't upset the interview subject"!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ultimately, the Japanese public wants weaker journalism. Why? Well, they vote (some of them do, anyway) for a government that is not in favor of openness or promoting a society that questions those in power. The writing has been on the wall for some time, yet nobody cares.

It’s a measure that the Chinese government might take...

The China/Japan/Korean mindset is all the same. None of those societies are in favor of strong, free journalism.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Well, Japan is the new China, after all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Younger journalists don’t seem to have a fighting spirit.

That's what happens when a society drums out creativity and tenacity through a "pass the test" education system. Then on top of that, flood their minds with comics and cheap electronic entertainment. Where's the thought-provoking discussion in classrooms...?

Oh yeah, in other countries.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The weasel Abe has carefully studied the actions of the crooks Putin and Erdogan in gaining control of the media in their countries and he is trying the same tactics in Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So you have an ultra-rightist saying that the government should be able to limit freedom of speech, and Suga, as usual, defending the ultra-right opinion as 'common sense', and any opposition to said opinions can be shut down, and now the people who voice them literally jailed. How is the Japanese media therefore any different than the Chinese?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Hard to disagree with them

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We need more people like Ikegami-san on broadcast!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So the liberal democrats are on the way to become the corporate undemocrates..?

And no opposition in sight. Its about time to build politics on basic ideals and not just power, power, power.

Or call it "shin" and everybody applauds.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Journalist shouldn't be politically motivated person otherwise his/her reports will be bias one, at same time government should also equally observed the freedom of press reports.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nakanoguy, you forgot to mention the far-left mouthpiece CNN.

"Fair" reporting is a very subjective term, isn't it? How about "accurate" reporting, instead.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Yep as many are pointing out Japan IS becoming the NEW CHINA!!!

I mean reporting here has been crap & extremely lenient on politicians & govts for MANY decades now, so for these guys to COME OUT it clear the decline slope has tipped further downwards..........

Pretty grim

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I mean reporting here has been crap & extremely lenient on politicians & govts for MANY decades now

So far from reality that it is obvious you don't read the Japanese newspapers for MANY decades now.

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

So far from reality that it is obvious

Tina, it's goosesteppingly explicit the kisha club system ensures reporting of government is uncritical.

Paranoid Abe, however, is demanding obsequy, claiming anything else is unfair.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If you want to fix politics, only allow the homeless to become politicians and prove they have no hidden cash.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Another respected journalist, Hiroko Kuniya, a presenter for NHK public television’s prime-time news show Close-up Gendai, angered Suga when she pressed him with unscripted questions about the security legislation, reportedly triggering a strong protest from the Prime Minister’s Office. Kuniya didn't give her personal opinion, she simply asked questions that had not been pre-approved by the government. Don't read into the story things that aren't part of it.

you are cherry picking your quotes. from another section of the same article:

Kishii angered Abe supporters last year when he voiced his opposition to security legislation allowing Japan’s military to defend the U.S. and other allies under attack.

and i am neither against nor for the law. I merely pointing out that it's not a binary as many of you say it is. journalism today always has a bias, intentional or not. news should be impartial, giving fair treatment to both sides of the issue. whether this law promotes that or not is debatable. what's not debatable is that giving your opinion about the news during a newscast has repercussions, just look at Fox news or as someone mentioned CNN.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Governments shouldn't be owning Fourth Estate like China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Those guys didnt show evidences to prove what they claim.Most probably there are other untold reasons behind their claim.This can be political games to affect LDP and Abe Shinzo before Summer elections.Nothing has happened up till now,its just claims,no creditability.If government takes any procedures against media,according to law,then its legal.If they see its not legal,they can simply take it to court,its so easy and simple.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

In the USA, journalism is dubbed the Fourth Estate, to oversee the workings of the three main parts of the federal govt... the executiv branch, the congressional branch and the judicial branch. In Japan there is no check on government. There is no Fourth Estate. Maybe these brave men will help give birth to Japan's own No. 4 Estate.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

it's goosesteppingly explicit the kisha club system ensures reporting of government is uncritical.

Pay more attention to what the J media is writing on their papers than how the kisha club system is run. They are trying to overthrow the govt. They don't care if the govt has high approval rating or not. The media does not have people's support now.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

The media does not have people's support now.

You mean the media does not have your people's support (the right wingers).

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Just a thought.

Of course the kisha clubs system inhibits freedom of speech. On the other hand, the idea of keeping the news objective has its merit.

When journalists are free to (and encouraged to) interpret facts for the sake their political agenda, the press and the electorate become extremely polarized and people develop a blind faith to their political party/press while regarding the other sides as liars. As a natural consequence, this political polarization leads to lies and extreme positions on both sides.

So maybe it's good to keep the news plain and objective. The interpretation part could become the realm of political debate TV programs? Maybe...?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Folks complain about the government here, but look closer to home, the same crap goes on here and no one thinks anything about it.

Just like the Japanese media, we all are censored and have things deleted HERE because the moderators dont like the content, even though it's not rude, not an attack on anyone, but just up to the whims of the person "in charge".

It's hypocritical to post articles like this in protest, when they do the very same thing. Freedom of the "press" is not limited to TV and print, but also the internet too.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The media does not have people's support now.

Why aren't they bankrupt, if that's the case?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why aren't they bankrupt, if that's the case?

They're making less money. They are alway draging down politiciens from their posts. Very fierce. When do the media in China do that? Or even in USA?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

tinawatanabe: "They're making less money. They are alway draging down politiciens from their posts. Very fierce. When do the media in China do that? Or even in USA?"

So, you're saying that is done less in China than in Japan, and you clearly support the government's desire to take away the Japanese media's right to do so: hence, you want Japan to be more like China, which it is becoming more and more all the time anyway.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They are alway draging down politiciens from their posts.

Corrupt, dishonest politicians, generally - or can you name any who were dragged down but hadn't actually done anything wrong? I don't think I can.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My spouse just said to me that we are turning into China.

Japan has borrowed much from China throughout history (e.g. Confucian ethical & political thought, Chinese writing system, etc). What's another thing or two? :-P

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They're making less money.

Yes, media world wide are making less money. No proof that they don't have the people's support, though, just that content channels are shifting.

They are alway draging down politiciens from their posts. Very fierce. When do the media in China do that? Or even in USA?

Media in the USA do it all the time, and get high ratings for it. Ditto European nations.

When do the media in China do that?

本当に中国メディアから横展開するつもりなの?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Media-mostly-hunts for any hints to Abe cabinet.Its really nasty and ridiculous sometimes.Its a war against Abe and his cabinet.Its never against media or free speech,but against destructive roles media play to step down Abe cabinet.Not even one media staff has been banned,discriminated or punished because of what written or spoken,up till now.Where is the problem?!Its nothing,just loud voices to draw attention of public to imaginary accusations against Government,just to affect public opinion against,nothing else,nothing serious,nothing worth.It wont work guys,hard luck,try again)).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Its a war against Abe and his cabinet.

People are genuinely angry, GM.

Not even one media staff has been banned,discriminated or punished

You know - as an intelligent person following current affairs here - that is wrong:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/21/opinion/the-threat-to-press-freedom-in-japan.html?smid=fb-share&_r=1

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/25/national/media-national/japanese-media-self-censorship-seen-growing-abes-reign/#.VvW9czaTbdk

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Media in the USA do it all the time, and get high ratings for it. Ditto European nations.

No, US media is very polite and obedient to their govt. That's why US presidents stay the full term 4 or 8 years. Japan's PM are often short lived because of the media fierceness. US media didn't say anything at Iraq war, which is evidence of their obedience. They sound vocal and critical but in fact not. They are very critical to the foreign leaders but not to their own.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

No, US media is very polite and obedient to their govt.

Really? http://www.salon.com/2013/01/05/12_most_despicable_things_fox_news_did_in_2012/

That's why US presidents stay the full term 4 or 8 years

The voters decide to keep them there. What's the real reason Japanese politicians quit, Tina?

US media didn't say anything at Iraq war, which is evidence of their obedience

Mostly true, Tina: much of the US economy depends on the war industry, just as the Chinese military has a major role in the economy there 横展開するなよ。

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is evidently true. Can you spot any news of the 35.000 successfull and peacful demonstration of yesterday in Shibuya agains Abe politics of restarting NUCLEAR POWERPLANTS and the government NUCLEAR ENERGY? Nope, nowhere, not even here. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208872906649802&set=pcb.10208872971011411&type=3&theater

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dont see how the so-called government could pressure the media. The media is part of the government. Isnt that a contradiction in words?

Theres no way that the government could or would fire another part of the government so there is no pressure to speak of.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No, US media is very polite and obedient to their govt. That's why US presidents stay the full term 4 or 8 years. Japan's PM are often short lived because of the media fierceness. US media didn't say anything at Iraq war, which is evidence of their obedience. They sound vocal and critical but in fact not. They are very critical to the foreign leaders but not to their own.

True.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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