politics

LDP accused of avoiding election questions from foreign journalists

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The LDP denied it was avoiding the foreign press corps, and insisted it was simply a matter of scheduling.

Excuses, excuses, excuses....if you are so sure you are doing the right thing in your policies you would love to get the press to advertise for you......DOH......LDP/Right choices....double DOH.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

And the brainwashing of the public continues.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

How many LDP Diet members are there? They're all too busy? The opposition should seize on this but I bet they won't.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Ah, those pesky foreigners who don't play by the rules.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

And the brainwashing of the public continues.

Sorry..how does not participating in a press conference equal brainwashing of the public?

-25 ( +4 / -29 )

'which is generally considered more probing than its sometimes-tame Japanese counterpart, Ah..your telling me!!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Abe san, Japan's prestige was enhanced abroad because editors of Individual papers here have "complete freedom" to get their world news "however they please," and are not required to receive government handouts. Just as Japan has benefited and prospered as a result of the flow of world news into the country, so has Japan benefited socially, politically and economically.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The western corporate media are as tame as cows when it comes to those in positions of wealth and authority, so does that make the Japanese media as tame as stuffed animals?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

The Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) said it has been unable to find anyone among its senior ranks who can represent the party at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) ahead of the Dec 14 election? They should be embarrassed by this lame excuse. If Abe can't find ANYONE in his party to represent, then how can his party be expected to run a whole country?

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Another embarrassing day to be in Japan, the rot continues.

Too busy to have someone answer some questions about an election THEY called..........WTF!

ldp = chicken%$^s!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It's just another right-wing Fasciest move to control the media. Japanese journalists do not ask probing questions nor do they search for answers, as it states in the article. They just wait to be told whatever rubbish is spouted by the representative and they print it. I can only hope there is enough participation in the upcoming election to send this right-wing goon and his cronies to the backbench where they belong.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

The foreign press should turn this LDP silence into a full story for foreign consumption - and let the financial markets take a hit due to (further) lost confidence in Abe and his policies. There's more than one way to get people to see what's going on....

16 ( +18 / -2 )

The foreign press time and time again is singled out for being a bit of a joke when reporting about Japan so I'm sure they are taking their disappoint real seriously.

-11 ( +3 / -13 )

Anything stopping foreign journalists from following the PM around like every other reporter? Relying on your interview subject to come to your members only club so that you can regurgitate identical stories, and then when he doesn't show up, write a navel gazing story promoting your club instead of about the election? I'm no fan of Abe but sorry, the FCCJ model is antiquated.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

But make sure that you come to the Tokyo Olympics where Tohoku produce will be freely served.........

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wakarimasen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no need to avoid foreign journalists. If U/SA, news about Japan is not televised. Newspapers? There is no national NPs. Too many topics of ISIS. and US news. Maybe somewhere in Europe. Volcanos picture recently. People are more interested in cop killing black boy not one of Japanese political paries.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Abe knows the people of Japan don't really like him all that much. He knows they distrust his ridiculously optimistic predictions for Japan's future under Abenomics, now exposed to have been a scam from the get-go. He knows most citizens haven't seen any tangible benefits accrue to themselves from Abenomics at all, other than an increasingly nationalistic line of rhetoric spewing from their lap-dog media machine, a "reinterpretation" of their Peace Constitution that only serves to bring their country closer to international conflict...and, of course, higher prices for the basic necessities of merely getting by in life.

Yet, he also knows that the voting public is so uninformed and cynical in their "not having an alternative" that come election day, they will shrug their collective shoulders, moan "it can't be helped" in disappointed surrender...and vote the LDP (and its crony capitalism for the few) a fresh mandate on power!

He knows it. The Japanese know it. The media knows it. Foreigners especially know it...and there's nothing most of us here can really do about it!

Japan: home to the world's most apathetic electorate! "Sho ga nai," indeed!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Well you know the FCCJ should know better. All the politicians a week before the election will have to be in their trucks shouting "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu" over and over.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They should just drive their minivans with the girls waving wearing pancake hats on their heads, screaming out the runners name really LOUD over and over again, around the block of the foreign press club. Do that for an hour and all is well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How contemptuous of Abe and the LDP that they refuse to be accountable to the public, international as well as domestic.

They are not prepared to answer the hard questions and simply wish for a compliant media to be their mouthpiece (let's remember Abe has installed his cronies on the executive board of NHK).

The incident above is another example but it was exemplified last week when a Keio University student was pressured out of his role as an NPO that aims to engage young people in politics. Aoki Yamada had designed a website asking child-like questions of Abe's policies. Abe personally responded:

“I hope his deed is not part of some organized attempt to manipulate public opinion against me ahead of the election."

I say: why the hell not? If you want to play the big guy in politics you'd better be prepared to take the big punches. What a pathetic response from Abe, but it speaks volumes of how he sees politics in Japan.

As for the DPJ, they are doing a huge disservice to the people of JApan by not having the wit to reorganise themselves into a credible opposition.

Student story: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/25/national/abe-laughing-online-stunt-pokes-fun-snap-election-call/#.VHqdSBFxmM8

6 ( +7 / -1 )

BNlightenedNOV. 30, 2014 - 12:07PM JST Japan: home to the world's most apathetic electorate! "Sho ga nai," indeed!

When the secrecy law comes to pass, then they will know what the communism is all about. Are they really going to let this happen?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yesterday both the Yomiuri and Asahi were censured for writing the facts; Yomiuri for using the term 'sex slaves', which is what the sex slaves were, and Asahi for it's report that most workers fled the Fukushima plant despite a command to stay. Now you have the government avoiding the foreign media because they KNOW the foreign media will ask questions they cannot control, as they can with domestic media. This country is heading down a worse path every day, and is becoming more and more like China with its censorship and dictating what can or cannot be said in the media, and it's going to get even worse next month with the new secrecy law coming into effect. It's no wonder they want to avoid the foreign media before an election.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Punishment for not playing nicely during their last minister interview. That's what the Japanese press fears. Lack of access.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jiminto OWNS the Japanese press. Thus no tough questions.

Jiminto DOES NOT OWN the foreign press ... and it avoids foreign journalists for this reason ... thus no negative news for Abe and his Abenomics and other questionable policies.

More and more we see a local press that shies away from hard questions about Abe's doings. Already NHK and the Yomiuri Shimbun are under Jiminto's quiet control ... thus the other newsies tend to toe the line too and stay away from the combustible questions.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

FCCJ or foreigners don't have vote, that's all.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

"But the move has fanned suspicions that LDP bigwigs want to avoid the foreign press, which is generally considered more probing than its sometimes-tame Japanese counterpart."

Pretty sure that's supposed to read as "sometimes-lame".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And why do the Jpoliticians have to explain the things they deem right for their country and people to foreigners who are earning and living well right under their noses and whose job is just to pry on them.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The LDP will only attend the Yomiuri "journalist" club.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"FCCJ or foreigners don't have vote, that's all."

If Japan wants to be considered actually relevant and impactful on the international stage, then the LDP, and Japanese politicians in general, have to understand that their actions are newsworthy and that they must learn to engage with reports OTHER than the domestic press.

Especially when the domestic press is as milquetoast as the Japanese domestic press.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

David Varnes, They are now very busy meeting, talking and shaking hands with as many voters around the nation as possible. Do you think the politicians of other countries would meet Japanese press two weeks before the elections? I doubt it.

If Japan wants to be considered actually relevant and impactful on the international stage,..

I don't think they care such things.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

tinawatanabe,

"They are now very busy meeting, talking and shaking hands with as many voters around the nation as possible."

"I don't think they care such things."

Nonsense and other comments.

First of all, EVERY politician running for such a large office is busy. Or did you think that Obama, Romney, McCain, Clinton, et. al. were just taking their days in a relaxed manner when running for office?

Here's the bottom line: They are running for control of the government of one of the largest economies in the world. A country where the Prime Minister himself (you know, ol' Shinzo) has repeatedly tried to gain influence not just economically, but within the UN by gaining a seat on the Security Council. A country that is hosting the Olympics in less than 6 years.

If they are "too busy" as you say, they you send a press officer. There are people whose entire jobs are meeting with the press in such manner. Not just dismiss and send nobody.

If they do not care, then they have no leg to stand on when the rest of the world does not care about them, nor care about Japan.

Japan wants to have "soft power?" Japan wants to have influence, either economically, socially, politically, or in any other means? Then stop acting like spoiled children, and start playing by the "big boys rules."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

not everything in the foreign media is about bashing Japan

LOL

you send a press officer

I think the press officer (if any) is on the campaign trail too.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Tina - "I think the press officer(if any) is on the campaign trail too" - please explain clearly what you mean. I'm not sure I get your drift.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LDP Diet members may fear sharp questions of Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan sharp questions, or their Boss, Abe. in case they make speech error, they might be,,,,,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Foreign journalists are not really welcomed here just like gaijins in general. As long as u are here as a tourist or on a short term basis, and u'r not asking bad or sensitive questions about japan, that should be fine.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

BNlightened.

He knows it. The Japanese know it. The media knows it. Foreigners especially know it...and there's nothing most of us here can really do about it!

You and others that don't like it can change it, take Japan citizenship I think you'll find you can then vote,

When was the last time a sitting US president granted an interview with Japanese media ?

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Well, he's got NHK and the Japanese media sewn up.

The media he has no control over is foreign media.

And there are a number of very difficult questions Abe doesn't want asked.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Stormr,

I aint a yankee but I am pretty sure the white house has fairly regular meetings with the press, some times they don't take questions but lots of times they do & they answer, very unlike Japan, to Japans own detriment.

How can anyone in Japan today right now be happy with a govt that shows nothing but utter contempt for the people they are supposed to govern!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

How long before a journalist - Japanese or foreign - is charged with defamation or violating the soon-to-be official secrets act? Let us protect the 国体!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Talk about comedy! The lame-o, same-o politicians are so cowardly to possibly face an actual question. They're afraid someone may actually let a bit of truth slip through the cracks. Pathetic.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Most of my japanese friends don't support Abe at all, so not all Japanese people support Abe. I agree with them on one thing. Abe fears, he fears questions. Why do I agree with my Japanese friends? It's because I saw it happening in my country too. The military junta fears the foreign press. Foreign press knows how much Adolf Hitler they have become, the Military Junta blocks every website that talk about them in a bad way. Force every citizen to never talk about them in a negative way. Abe fears the same thing. The foreign press cannot be controlled by him, but I'm glad that he doesn't block website like the Military Junta, and that's why I'm still waiting for my Japanese citizenship.

My message to LDP is be open-minded and be honest to every press if you don't want foreign investors to walk away.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In Japan you don't ask questions! You just validate bosses' decision. Period!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

please explain clearly what you mean.

I mean they are busy, no time talking to Japanese illiterate imbeciles.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Perhaps the Abe government has finally taken a look at them and realized that the FCCJ contributes ...nothing to the government of the day

The day a government looks on in satisfaction at a news organization and thinks "Ah... this news organization is contributing well to our government" is the day when I will want to stop reading anything published by that news organization or any of its members.

"Weird Japan"

Come on... Japan brings this on itself to a certain extent. The extreme desire of the Japanese to be seen as unique inevitably means that some stories focus on the uniquely weird.

And to be frank, a lot of uniquely weird stories do seem to come from Japan.

This year has been excellent for wacky Japanese news stories... musicians pretending to be deaf, politicians bawling their eyes out, kappogi-wearing mad scientists, cops asking for hidden-camera shoes to be returned...

The list goes on and on.

Personally speaking, the more weird stories there are, the more I love Japan.

Hope 2015 also proves to be a great year for "weird Japan".

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Daniel J, and what about the people not living in Japan who want holiday ideas, low crime rate news, food and ggodies and all the icing a cake can have. Pls cut that off! You know they can have all those in travel books. You said transparency, I bet you can only say that to japan and still live well. We live here esp those who live well and we might as well adjust to the way things are done here or we have the choice to leave. Basically the Japanese are soft on us foreigners esp to those western and europeans hence we might as well be kind and soft to them in return.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can only hope there is enough participation in the upcoming election to send this right-wing goon and his cronies to the backbench where they belong.

Well true. One of two things will actually happen. There'll be a massive turn out to vote in support of another party - unlikely as most of the younger generation won't lift a finger. Or the turnout will be so low that the whole election will be revealed for the farce it is

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is the first time I have ever seen or heard of a political party two weeks away from a general election passing up a ready made opportunity, a international platform, to lay out current and long term economic, foreign and defence policy. Where are the Political campaigning staff who should be formulating and implementing the strategy?. Why shake hands when you could be launching your campaign statesmanlike to millions ? It a campaigning gift.

The public, the electorate are sceptical that the $500m snap election is a unnecessary waste of money, this is Abe san and the LDP gift of a opportunity to set the record straight. We are talking about career politicians here, PR and Media relations strategy specialists deal with Q & A. What could they possibly running scared of ? The DPJ should be chomping at the bit, what Abe passes up they should be taking full advantage. Gobsmacked ......They are all off with the fairies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"The day a government looks on in satisfaction at a news organization and thinks 'Ah... this news organization is contributing well to our government' is the day when I will want to stop reading anything published by that news organization or any of its members."

Yes, excellent pitch-perfect reply to the extended anti-FCCJ rant uploaded by hokkaidoguy.

"Perhaps the Abe government has finally taken a look at them and realized that the FCCJ contributes absolutely nothing to Japan - nothing to the enlightenment of the Japanese citizens, who don't read the foreign press"

Uh, if Japanese citizens don't read the foreign press, is that the fault of the FCCJ? You've got to be kidding me that the FCCJ is some kind of anti-Japan organization aligned with public opinion in South Korea. A lot of FCCJ members are pampered, coddled Westerners educated at elite universities who have every reason in the world to express fawning, maudlin, sentimental admiration for Japan and its people--and they often do. Lots of "Chrysanthemum Club" types have been members of the FCCJ since its founding in 1945.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan is so doomed. This is just indicative of Japan's lack of foresight and all effort to protect the privileged few (Chrysanthemum Club?). I shake my head in disbelief at this country as it commits "National Seppuku." Of course, the apathy of the voters, or should I say non-voters begets the outcome.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

StormR: When was the last time a sitting US president granted an interview with Japanese media ?

Obama did last time he was in Japan. NHK last week carried an interview with Obama in the White House about the ACA and Ferguson. Just lettig you know the last times.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"When was the last time a sitting US president granted an interview with Japanese media ?"

April 23, 2014. Obama had an interview with the Japanese media, in which he acknowledged Japan's control of the Senkaku islands, and sided with Japan over China in the Senkaku dispute.

"I mean they are busy, no time talking to Japanese illiterate imbeciles."

and in one simple concise sentence, you have summed up everything that is wrong with the LDP stance on this, and yours as well.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You and others that don't like it can change it, take Japan citizenship I think you'll find you can then vote,

You might not like it very much if that actually happened, though. Your LDP idols might be in more danger of losing elections if there were more people able and willing to vote.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You and others that don't like it can change it, take Japan citizenship I think you'll find you can then vote

And surrender my original passport? I don't think so. Much as I would like the ability to vote of course. Japan needs to embrace the concept of "dual-nationality", and a great many other things. And yes, it is very clear that the LDP fears sending someone to an interview, and having them commit an embarrassing gaffe

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This matter goes unnoticed by the Japanese public. We really need alternative media.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A few comments here seem as welcome as a cockroach on a wedding cake to use that Australian expression.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I mean they are busy, no time talking to Japanese illiterate imbeciles.

I can only generously assume tinawatanabe is ironically mimicking the head-in-the-sand attitude that many of her fellow citizens display. With China growing and flexing its muscles, Japan, more than at any time in its post-war past, needs to show it can be an international player if it wants to build solid relationships to the mutual benefit of itself and its partners in the region.

Or maybe Tina is unconsciously refelcting the attitude of the indigenous population, who are largely politically illiterate imbeciles who can only continue to meekly suck at the teet of their political leaders even as the milk runs dry.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I mean they are busy, no time talking to Japanese illiterate imbeciles.

I can only generously assume tinawatanabe is ironically mimicking the head-in-the-sand attitude that many of her fellow citizens display. With China growing and flexing its muscles, Japan, more than at any time in its post-war past, needs to show it can be an international player if it wants to build solid relationships to the mutual benefit of itself and its partners in the region.

Or maybe Tina is unconsciously refelcting the attitude of the indigenous population, who are largely politically illiterate imbeciles who can only continue to meekly suck at the teet of their political leaders even as the milk runs dry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can only generously assume tinawatanabe is ironically mimicking the head-in-the-sand attitude that many of her fellow citizens display

I think she actually meant foreigners who can't speak, read or write in Japanese and are thus illiterate imbeciles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LDP could send anyone who can speak in English. USA will not televise qbout Japan anyway. Or speak in Japanese and that will end interview. Ib either case, there wil be no such news iin USA as usually,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

LDP accused of avoiding election questions from foreign journalists

Only in their minds. I think these 'journalists' should stop overestimating their importance.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Only in their minds. I think these 'journalists' should stop overestimating their importance.

You don't think that foreign correspondents really deserve to be called journalists at all, then?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agreed, Simon. It's a 'foreigners don't count' attitude, but Japan needs to build strong relationships with these 'illiterate imbeciles'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Ib either case, there wil be no such news iin USA as usually,"

considering that the Japanese election (at the time), and today's downgrading of Japan's debt by Moody's both made the front page of CNN.com, then yes, there will be news about it in America. Will it make the evening television news? Most likely not. But it will be in the news.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan needs to build strong relationships with these 'illiterate imbeciles'

I think they should learn Japanese and read Japanese papers to understand what Japanese are saying for more balanced views, instead of just writing what other countries want to hear. Helpless people. Why should Japan bother such people at the busiest time.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Why should Japan bother such people at the busiest time.

Because Japan wants to be taken seriously on the world stage, and the more they try to stifle the truth, the more Japan looks like China.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think they should learn Japanese and read Japanese papers

The first part I agree with, but name me one single, independent, free-thinking Japanese "paper". All of them kowtow to the government.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tina, you're just revealing your own closed mind and reinforcing the image that Japan is incapable of and uninterested in communicating effectively with the international community.

The international press doesn't just consist of Japanese-based English language newspapers, you know. It includes The Times of London, The New York Times, the Herald Tribune, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and other prominent well-known newspapers.

I'd hardly call these journalists illiterate imbeciles and I wouldn't expect them to learn Japanese either (not to mention the fact that it wouldn't do them any damn good as they're not members of the kisha club).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'd hardly call these journalists illiterate imbeciles

I said Japanese illiterate imbeciles. I know that's the cause of the big misunderstandings. As some posters above say Japan lies, or stifles the truth, no point of inviting Japanese officers over because those "journalists" write their favorite stories regardless of what they hear from the Japanese.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

With regard to my earlier comment, the Japan Times is fairly decent - but it's the only "independent" newspaper in Japan and even then - English language. Still waiting with baited breath to see if the LDP sends someone

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think they should learn Japanese and read Japanese papers to understand what Japanese are saying for more balanced views...

How do you know that they don't? Or do you just assume they don't because they write articles you don't like?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You don't think that foreign correspondents really deserve to be called journalists at all, then?

Not really.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

tina has a point though. Foreign journos tend to want the negative stories of Japan (as do most of the populace on here for some reason) moreso than any positive ones. Positive Japan stories don't sell overseas much.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Reticent Japan? Why forego a chance to explain the plummeting yen,an increase in the homeless,increases in tax on food and transport,the lack of progress in Fukushima,the maladies afflicting the US sailors after 3/11 etc ?

Why indeed?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is that a teleprompter? Sure looks like one.

Where is all the Republican Poutrage?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese politicians are too accustomed to softball questions. PM Abe wins the election on a platform of economic revival, and fiscal restraint, then does exactly the opposite. He should be pressed to explain why he's contradicted himself.

The tax hike, which was his idea (but, implemented anyway), compromises his stated goal of reviving the Japanese economy. Stimulus spending merely adds do Japan's gargantution debt, negating whatever meager gains the higher sales tax might have brought in.

Dodging the foreign media's questions shows that Abe and the rest of them are typical politicians.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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