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Japanese right muzzling liberal media, say analysts

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“Conservative media should be careful,” he said, “because criticising the Asahi could deprive us of diversity in debates in our society.”

Wow, with such mealy mouthed opposition, one really can't feel hopeful. Is the vacuous DPJ making any hay of this, threatening to reverse the law if they gain power. Of course, I know they can't win but simply putting it out there.

The New York Times had a devastating take on this last week:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/03/world/asia/japanese-right-attacks-newspaper-on-the-left-emboldening-war-revisionists.html?_r=0

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Interesting commentary, but doesn't go far enough. Should have also commented on the LDP pressure exerted on NHK, and the fact that there are a couple of right loons on the NHK Board at the moment.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

I think Japan at its heart being a decidedly conservative and old-fashioned society perhaps it is more suited to a right-wing conservative government. Like China, perhaps Japanese culture is not suited to democracy; at least not in the European fashion it has been modeled on since the war. Japanese have values other than 'truth' and 'freedom'.

4 ( +7 / -5 )

Japan is the new China -- or rather, returning to its 'former glory'. The irony is that the people who most vehemently want a 'strong Japan' and back this secrecy law are those with the most to hide and therefore benefit from it, and who push for a type of censorship and media control that is very much like the China they rail against.

20 ( +25 / -7 )

What a farce the children of entitled family's have failed to absolve their fathers and grandfathers, now resort to cencership and blatant lies, Japanese might buy into it but the international community certainly don't. BBC and the ABC have both run stories that made Nippon look like a tin pot dictatorship. The LDP have no argument so silence all critics with a law they can't justify. The J- Politbeaurou wins again as does the certan families who have been in power loger than the Kim's of the CCP.

15 ( +16 / -2 )

Japan the next People's Republic of China? Really? Talk about out of touch.

Asahi is to blame. The right was always going to jump all over them if they issued a retraction on politically charged topics. A better thing to have done was never publish these articles at all, and instead stick to the myriad of evidence that prove the existence of comfort women so as not to give the revisionists any ammunition. But Asahi did not do that. They published hearsay that proved to be false, and then didn't offer a retraction for almost two decades.

They brought all the heat onto themselves for, essentially, publishing lies. The IJA did conscript sex slaves, but you can't publish articles based on a source that is not credible. Especially when you are trying to present these articles as factual.

At worst, its a victory for the revisionists. It is not a defeat for press freedom.

"A chill wind is blowing through Japan’s media as a resurgent right pressures the country’s liberal voices, in what analysts say presents a threat to democracy as voters prepare to head to the polls for a general election."

Really? The right that was looking to sweep 300 seats in the elections? Give me a break.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Abe is just like grand pa Kishi...look out folks the right is back in full swing. And people just keep on voting for the LDP in a corrupt dysfunctional political system that only serves those in power. Control the press and control the masses, easiest and time tested strategy. But who cares, we have the Olympics and AKB!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

That sums it up pretty well I reckon. One step closer to complete fascism in Japan. The government does and says whatever it likes and public opinion is just something to be ignored. Howver, it is the apathetic 50% of the japanese population that are too lazy to get off their butts and vote that are to blame. It's just beyond me how so many people can sit back and watch their country be driven into the ground by a bunch of cronies that are only concerned with putting their names in history books. Wake the truck up Japan!

14 ( +15 / -2 )

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Those calling for silence and secrecy are not patriots at all. They are zombies and zombie masters or wannabees. They are evil, even if they don't fully realize it themselves. They will ruin all that made this country great and bring back all that brought this country ruin.

12 ( +12 / -1 )

A sad day for Japan, and for the sheeple who should've been out protesting since the bill was announced

11 ( +12 / -2 )

"Shikata ga nai ne..."

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I am sick and tired of hearing noise about the 200,000 "comfort women", and the lack of noise about the millions of innocent people who were murdered during the war. Asia and the South Pacific are littered with the bones of these people, men, women, and children, who were shot, burned, hanged, starved, blown up, or chopped to pieces with swords and bayonets. Yet their lives seem to count less than those of the "comfort women". I guess since they are dead, they no longer have a voice, though their permanent silence should speak louder than words.

How about museums in Japan like the Holocaust museums in Germany? How about a memorial on Japanese soil for the tens of thousands of prisoners of war they starved or beat to death? Or a monument to the hundreds of thousands of slave laborers who died working on Japan's numerous wartime projects? The only non-Japanese monuments we have on Japanese soil that remind us of the war are the US military bases, which is the main reason I hope they are never closed.

14 ( +17 / -4 )

The right-wing media can only sing one tune, which is "Take us back to the good old days when the Emperor was divine, and anyone who said otherwise could be flung in jail for treason." They have nothing to offer, but they're in vogue at the moment because somebody needs to stand up and return the insults to those annoying Koreans and Chinese. Knowing how quickly the citizenry gets bored, I don't see how the right wingers can sustain their position much longer. Then the media will find a happy middle ground and go back to saying what it says best -- nothing of any consequence.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I am sick and tired of hearing noise about the 200,000 "comfort women", and the lack of noise about the millions of innocent people who were murdered during the war

I am sick and tired of hearing denials by right-wing apologists. Sorry, they weren't comfort women, they were sex slaves. Repeat after me: sex slaves. I'd say someone needs to stand up and return the insult given by right-wing nutcases denying historical fact. Japan has just started the process towards becoming a pariah today

8 ( +10 / -2 )

MGigante: "Japan the next People's Republic of China? Really? Talk about out of touch."

How is it at all out of touch? Are you saying that China's control of the media is a good thing? How is what Abe and Co. are doing any different? If you back this law, you back tighter control of the media, and a complete lack of freedom of the press, plain and simple, and don't forget that the MAJORITY of people in Japan were against this but the current government decided on pushing it through regardless -- that too is like China.

There IS a difference, though -- in China people in the past and present have given their lives to fight against this kind of thing (just look at Hong Kong at present and how they are fighting injustice in the government and strong-arming by it), whereas, a few peaceful protests made up of a couple of hundred people, just sit back and say "shouga nai, ne!" and vote in the people that oppress them.

sangetsu: There are many, many examples people give, and which wingers here deny, of the atrocities committed by The IJA across Asia and not just about comfort women. I mean, come on... don't tell me you missed the article only YESTERDAY about China demanding a formal apology for the Nanjing Massacre (and don't say what you just said and suggest Nanjing is an example of something that gets brought up too much!). There is often reference to the Baatan Death March (which Japanese media said, "Was not that bad!", if they admit it happened at all), and just now there are right-wingers going crazy over the new Hollywood movie directed by Angelina Jolie about a former American POW tortured by Japanese officers. The voices who bring up these atrocities and beatings, etc., may be less frequent and/or quieter than the issue of sex slaves, but given geography and the amount of inter-action with South Korea and China it's not a surprise one plays center-stage while others take more of a back seat.

But with this law you won't be able to talk about anything except how Japan helped stabalize the Korean Peninsula, gave modern education to Taiwan (and so Taiwan LOVES Japan!), how they helped Asia, how anything that stood up against them was terrorism, how any former imperial soldier who testifies to atrocities committed has a 'foggy memory' (compared to the politicians and 'historians' born long after the fact!), and talk about how horribly Japan was treated after, and how so-called war criminals were just misunderstood patriots. Not to mention you have to talk about the atomic bombings, etc. etc.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Japan is returning to the days of the "Tokko," the much feared secret police in charge of silencing opposition to Japan's war effort.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

sangetsu 03Dec. 10, 2014 - 05:53PM JST

I am sick and tired of hearing noise about the 200,000 "comfort women", and the lack of noise about the millions of innocent people who were murdered during the war.

I think that the reason it does get brought up so much is that there have been so many ignorant and downright nasty statements made by Japanese politicians, some in the media and in Japanese historical circles, etc, etc, who have either downplayed or completely denied any wrong doing on the part of Japan and have literally called them a bunch of lying, gold-digging prostitutes. As a result of all this negative attention it drowns out the voices of all the other far to numerous victims you pointed out.

The fact that the still can't bring themselves to use the term SEX SLAVES is an affront in and of itself and I guess allows those less than human rapists and their ascendant to view themselves as unloved, scared schoolboys away from their momma's teet by referring to them as comfort women.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Comfort Women to be fair is a poor and insulting euphemism and sex slaves is more accurate (well done on using capitals and putting it in bold to show how much you care!).

Slave by its definition would imply there was a seller and a buyer. We know the buyer was the IJA due to the fact that successive Japanese governments have issued statements to this effect. But who was the seller? And why haven't they apologized yet?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

“Japan’s image was greatly damaged. Baseless libels are all across the world that ‘Japan systematically forced sex slavery’ because of the false (Asahi) reports,” Abe told a parliamentary committee in October.

And Mr Abe is lying. These facts were well known outside Japan decades before the faulty Asahi article.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The absurdity of claiming Asahi as a victim.

“because criticising the Asahi could deprive us of diversity in debates in our society.”

WTF??

This is a news organization that printed false information on two Yoshida's testimonies with the comfort women retraction took almost two decades. The only debate is whether or not Asahi should be classfied as a tabloid rag.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

' Like China, perhaps Japanese culture is not suited to democracy'

We've never had the chance to see if democracy could work in China. The longer I stay here the more I agree with your statement minus the 'perhaps'.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is a news organization that printed false information on two Yoshida's testimonies with the comfort women retraction took almost two decades

Further right-wing dissembling. You are focussing on a speck in the ocean that was the abduction and coercion (for the most part) of approximately 200,000 women by the IJA. The fact this isn't being openly discussed in Japan supports the headline of this article

4 ( +7 / -4 )

Further right-wing dissembling. You are focussing on a speck in the ocean that was the abduction and coercion (for the most part) of approximately 200,000 women by the IJA. The fact this isn't being openly discussed in Japan supports the headline of this article

Nope. With the full report on the Kono Statement review, it became completely obvious of the complete lack of evidence to your above accusation.

-15 ( +3 / -17 )

Nope. With the full report on the Kono Statement review, it became completely obvious of the complete lack of evidence to your above accusation.

Here we go then. (And these are mainstream websites, not right-wing or Japanese government approved - almost the same thing) http://cup.columbia.edu/book/comfort-women/9780231120333 http://www.racism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1326:japan01&catid=146&Itemid=254 http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1242&context=bjil http://www.dw.de/former-comfort-woman-tells-uncomforting-story/a-17060384 http://socialism.com/drupal-6.8/articles/%E2%80%9Ccomfort-women%E2%80%9D-world-war-ii-era-sex-slaves-international-human-rights-warriors

Of course with the secrecy law now enacted, right-wing media have won this round

5 ( +6 / -2 )

In the article;

Cheered on by fringe groups,

It's no longer just "fringe groups". It's now majority of Japanese. In a country that has never learned the lessons of war, it will be bound to repeat it.

2 ( +5 / -4 )

Like I have been saying of late 2014 has been a depressing year, Japan is dragging itself down & down , the ""daily yomiuri/japan news"" has been churning out utterly disgusting filthy propaganda at an insane rate this year!! Even though I have subscribed to read the right wing crap its has been painful to stomach this year! Its been an embarrassing year to be living in Japan, not sure how much more I can take, thank goodness I have no kids on these isles, those that do, teach them well so they can LEAVE if need be!

Asahi should be classfied as a tabloid rag.

OK nigelboy what pray tell does that make the yomiuri or sankei then???? Do tell!

6 ( +7 / -2 )

So right-wing = Nationalist and Left-wing = internationalist in this context?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another example of deeply disturbing trends in Japanese society. It is now clear that Abe's tacit approval of the far right's historical revisionism (and the deep penetration of the LDP by far right societies such as Nippon Kaigi) has opened a Pandora's box that will now prove extremely difficult to close.

This is a society where hate speech is legal, ultra-nationalism is promoted by the government, dissent is increasingly persecuted and racism is inbuilt and increasingly manifest.

I recently left Japan after many years of residence out of growing concern about developments in general and for my own safety in particular. I shall not be returning other than a short-term temporary visitor.

9 ( +9 / -1 )

The paper believes it is not proven that the women were coerced.

whether they were being coerced or not, the truth of the matter was that japan attacked, brutalized and of course killed millions during those glory days with no reason except to dominate. If that was the case (of course it was), then for sure those women were also being forced out of their will to serve soldiers as prostitutes -- whether because their husbands have already being killed or their family members..i don't think these kinds of acts (like forced sex labour) were being properly documented at the moment they were being carried out. If documented, most probably, they were already been vanished/destroyed..looking for proven evidence therefore after more than five decades now just doesn't seem sensible..but of course this issue is hopeless..there are quite beautifully constructed japanese war memorials, including constitutional orders to make peace, etc., but as some already pointed out, none are specifically addressed toward non-japanese victims. I mean that the reality of things.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

Jeff Steinberg, a senior editor for the Executive Intelligence Review...“They [sic] may view the US doctrine of Air-Sea Battle as a provocation and I think there’s very strong merit for thinking that that’s an accurate viewpoint, elements of the Air-Sea Battle policy that could involve preemptive strikes against Chinese territory which not only would be a provocation for war, but would in some cases reduce the gap between conventional and nuclear conflicts,” .....whatever results from a so called resurgent right muzzling of the press, there are political factors at play that feel a war with China is enviable, lets hope these views are misplaced.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In a very related piece of news today, this is what folks in the U.S. are reading:

Japanese nationalists have branded Angelina Jolie a 'demon' and called for her to be banned from travelling to the country over her so-called 'immoral' depiction of Japanese Second World War prison guards in her directorial debut 'Unbroken'.

This is a very dangerous trend, as others have pointed out. One of the bed rocks of a true democracy is a truly free press -- the fourth estate. And for the LDP to be sending out letters demanding "fair: reporting is just plain scary.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@dbsaiyaDEC. 10, 2014 - 04:47PM JST Abe is just like grand pa Kishi...look out folks the right is back in full swing. And people just keep on voting for the LDP in a corrupt dysfunctional political system that only serves those in power. Control the press and control the masses, easiest and time tested strategy. But who cares, we have the Olympics and AKB!

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

When Kishi met Ike and came back to Japan, that was after Socialist Party leader Asanuma was assacinated by then right group (Uyoku) already, This right wing tried to assassinate Kishi at airport and he was almist killed. Reason? He was too friendly wiith liberal American such as Eisenhower, He invitedde Ike to Japan that was good enough reason to kill Kishi, right wing declared. Ike did not come. In order to face right wing, everywhere in Japan created Welcome Ike Parties asked local Yakuza groups that was only stronger than violent right wing. Abe's grand pa Kishi was almost killed by right wing, He was never known as right wing supporter..

You can attack Abe and LDP more efficiently with honesty than fabrication of his Grand Pa Kishi.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

This is a society where hate speech is legal, ultra-nationalism is promoted by the government, dissent is increasingly persecuted and racism is inbuilt and increasingly manifest.

You forgot sexism and agism

Nope. With the full report on the Kono Statement review, it became completely obvious of the complete lack of evidence to your above accusation.

Nigelboy, Using a report ordered by the ultranationalist rightwing government is hardly 'proof' that the whole sex slaves issue is a lie. The funny thing is you are so worried about foreigners little comments about Japan, while we that are worried about suppression of the press, because it is harmful to the JAPANESE PEOPLE.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ignorance is Strength.

1984

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This has been the case for years here, the academics are just now becoming aware of this? The muzzling of the media began with Nakasone and Blinkyhara in Tokyo just increased the fascist control. Remember from 1999 to 2005 the black van right wingers staged daily protests outside the Asahi and Mainichi buildings. Where were these Todai and Sofia academics then? In their ivory towers I suppose.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe seems to be doing whatsoever pleases himself, relying on American and Japanese geopolitical risk but, at his grandfather's time, Japan fought against USA. USA may want a strategic base in pacific area but isn't Abe, himself, a risk rather than a reliable ally?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Archernar - This is a society where hate speech is legal, ultra-nationalism is promoted by the government, dissent is increasingly persecuted and racism is inbuilt and increasingly manifest.

You've just described the U.S. as well as the U.K..

There seems to be some kind of connection between ultra conservatism and nations dominated by corporations with more rights than its citizens.

I'm sorry to hear Japan is walking that path as well

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hi ArtistAtLarge, bluntly capitalism with a capital 'P'. A 'corporate' business model, basic welfare state, heavy emphasis on personal responsibility. Lacks compassion, without balance increases inequality both social and financial.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I find it all ironic when these right wing fringe group has galls to insult the communism when they are already more or less over the top in line with that ideology abusing it as much as they need to. SMFH at Japanese politics.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese nationalists have branded Angelina Jolie a 'demon' and called for her to be banned from travelling to the country over her so-called 'immoral' depiction of Japanese Second World War prison guards in her directorial debut 'Unbroken'.

I have yet to see the "Railway Man" available in Tsutaya stores either. It seems that films that show Japanese soldiers fighting in the Pacific are ok, but ones that show maltreatment of POWs aren't ok. The only one I've seen that does is "To end all wars". Very rare. No doubt the Tsutaya chain fears a backlash from right-wing groups. The very same right-wing groups who advocate that spouting their filth is free speech, yet they hinder other people from expressing their legitimate opinions. True Japanese hypocrisy at work

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Chris Glen: I never enter the stores but Discas has it. I wish films like Biruma no Tategoto, Nobi and Ningen no Joken (all 10 hrs. of it) were mandatory viewing for the young.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unfortunately most Japanese don't seem to go to that site for their viewing content. Now if they were to make an anime series about POW treatment that would get the message across. Without a doubt, media content is being muzzled by the right

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wish to the heavens that some benvolent force would muzzle the insane rabid run away idiots of the American Media, who have been having hysterical fits and actually trying to encourage riots, and violence in the streets to "make" news for them to sell air time. It is time for the modern media world wide to be given some solid rules to follow, about NOT pushing their own agenda, ie Liberal elitist and aggressive socialist views on the rest of us. Just REPORT, do NOT interpret and TELL us what is happening or who did it, or who is to blame, we can decide for ourselves. Same for Japan, thank goodness some sane ppl in Japan are curbing the worst abuses of the media rampage. Hope for more.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

sangetsu03 wrote:

'I am sick and tired of hearing noise about the 200,000 "comfort women", and the lack of noise about the millions of innocent people who were murdered during the war.'

That may well be. However the Chinese government is using comfort women as a jingoistic foreign policy point of focus.

After all the regime in the Sino-Japanese War was slaughtered in vast numbers by the Japanese military as well as an incalculable number of Chinese civilians supporting both political factions during this era.

So the Armed Forces of the Empire were met with forces within China who had diametrically opposed ideology internally. Which on one level is why the Japanese chose to invade China in the first place; as China was fragmented politically and militarily so vulnerable as a country.

Given that why would the current Chinese regime raise any issues drawing attention to the carnage of their former internal enemies army, their ideologically opposed people and any military vulnerability?

Which raises the question of why are you so blind to the realities of 20th and 21 century geopolitics?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Which on one level is why the Japanese chose to invade China in the first place; as China was fragmented politically and militarily so vulnerable as a country.

So that makes it ok does it? I know Mao Tsetung would agree with your sentiment. He actually expressed his appreciation to visiting Japanese dignitaries in the early 1970's for Japan's invasion of China - without which his ascent to power wouldn't have been possible

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Here we go then. (And these are mainstream websites, not right-wing or Japanese government approved - almost the same thing)

You have skewed definition of "mainstream" while automatically labeling the position you don't like as "right wing".

The simple fact is that there are no evidence "the abduction and coercion (for the most part) of approximately 200,000 women by the IJA" You can't nor the liberal media can't even come up with a dozen for the system was merely a privately brothel attaching themselves to the military. Recruitment (if it involved abduction and coercion) were done by private (if in Korea, done by Koreans). That's what the thousands of archived documents revealed.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Despite a dearth of official records, mainstream researchers estimate up to 200,000 women, many from Korea but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan, served Japanese soldiers in “comfort stations”.

Let me know who are the mainstream scholars saying so. 200,000 is the number of women who a Korean newspaper wrote in 1970's were mobilized as "Joshi-Teishintai" to serve as factory workers during the later period of the Pacific War. Out of them, it said, 50,000 to 70,000 were estimated to be Korean women (and the rest were Japanese). And in 1973 a Japanese writer Senda Kako wrote in his book "Jugun Ianfu" based on the above news report that as many as 200,000 Korean women were mobilized in the name of "Teishintai" and 50,000 to 70,000 out of them were forced to be comfort women. Some other historians referred to his book and quoted the number in 1980's too. And then in August 1991 the news reporter Uemura Takashi of the Asahi newspaper wrote that Korean women were brought to the battle field by force in the name of "Joshi-Teishintai" and forced to work as prostitutes for the Japanese soldiers. With these gradually modified false reports, despite a dearth of official records, 200,000 has almost become a fait compli without verification.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

the IJA destroying documents after the war?

Another groundless accusation.

the testimony of women from a dozen countries will have to suffice

Suffice to do what? To accuse somebody a criminal? No suffice.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

the testimony of women from a dozen countries will have to suffice

Suffice to do what? To accuse somebody a criminal? No suffice.

Ironic comment considering the degree to which Japan relies upon confessions to convict people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ironic comment considering the degree to which Japan relies upon confessions to convict people.

You always pick up the isolated cases to bash Japan, which happened long time ago where old DNA testing were used. I know many cases where suspects who had confessed were not prosecuted because the police could not find other evidence. J Criminal Law stipulates that suspects with confession alone cannot be convicted.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The IJA deleted much of the evidence of their recruitment of sex slaves. We do however have the testimony of survivors from about a dozen countries. Back on topic, Japan's right is muzzling freedom of speech

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Tinawata - last year 4 innocent people confessed to computer crimes that they didn't do. No DNA.

Just bumbling procedures by police & prosecutors and of course heavy handed methods (because why else would normal intelligent people confess).

Tina - you have no idea of what is below the proverbial tip. Seek.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And even if the numbers of sex slaves were lower than 200,000- which is unlikely - that doesn't make the crime any the less heinous. It's important for Japanese to preserve what little freedom of speech they have before it's too late

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The IJA deleted much of the evidence of their recruitment of sex slaves. We do however have the testimony of survivors from about a dozen countries. Back on topic, Japan's right is muzzling freedom of speech

My "dog ate my homework" type of response. There are plenty of evidence to go around but there is absolutely NONE to support "the abduction and coercion (for the most part) of approximately 200,000 women by the IJA" and there will never be because such actions requires documented orders from not only the top but circulated around literally thousands of local agencies to carry out such orders.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

last year 4 innocent people confessed to computer crimes that they didn't do. No DNA.

browny1, And were they prosecuted only for the confession?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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