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NHK chief apologizes in Diet for 'comfort women' comments

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Ah, yes! Japanese 'sanctioned' democracy at its best! Japanese politics are socialism run under the guise of democracy. He who has the most power and money controls the ballot and the election campaigns. It's not a democracy at all! It's a corrupt joke!

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Japanese politics are socialism run under the guise of democracy.

Hmm, I wouldn`t say socialism, rather cronyism and nepotism.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Is this a token slap on the wrist or a move in the right direction?

We can but hope!

Maybe some of the dirty tricks the LDP conducted in a vain attempt to install a puppet in Nago recently will come to light.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

"But the broadcaster said Friday it had only done so because it was not able to book a pro-nuclear guest to balance professor Toru Nakakita’s opinion." Ill call a BS on that one - pro nuclear experts are a dime a dozen ( the N village pay is a lot better than the alternative :) and NHK never had any trouble rolling out any number of them before. But what can we expect when the new head of NHK is a " personal choice " of Abe....balanced and fair reporting about an election where N-village interests feel threatened by Hosokawa? Dont be ridiculous...TIJ.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Suppression if free speech in Japan is a sign that the country is turning into a fascist state....

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Japanese 'sanctioned' democracy at its best! Japanese politics are socialism run under the guise of democracy.

It's a socialist democracy.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I could swear I just read the words, "NHK, truth and journalism" in one sentence. NHK has long been a government mouthpiece. Now it is little more than a propaganda channel run by a man Abe "backed", with Japan's new secrecy laws in place to further prevent any truth spilling out. The suppression of free speech is part of Abe's agenda, so no wonder at all that an opinion different from Abe's was hushed.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

"But the broadcaster said Friday it had only done so because it was not able to book a pro-nuclear guest to balance professor Toru Nakakita’s opinion."

BS! Complete and utter BS, and if anyone buys this they are suckers. You gotta love the "we need to be neutral" coming just after Momii said he has to tow the LDP right-wing line, and NOT allowing anti-nuclear activists to give their views after reading over the script. One more reason to never, ever pay NHK fees.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Oligarchy perhaps? A thin, cracking veneer of democracy over feudalism maybe?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I don't think Prof. Nakakita is any kind of 'activist'. I have had the pleasure of meeting him socially, and he's a very nice, quiet-spoken man. He was just giving his opinion (actually, not even that - just stating a FACT) in a piece he was asked to produce for a regular programme. I'm glad to see that he's not the type to be pushed around, and disappointed that NHK couldn't do better. As others have said, after the 'we have to toe the government line' gaff, claims of 'we have to remain neutral' ring hollow.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

All I can do is groan and wonder when the intelligent educated population of this country will

also say, "That's a load of bull".

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japanese constitution, articles:

Article 21. Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.

and

Article 23. Academic freedom is guaranteed.

Throw the book at them. This was completely and utterly unacceptable. Their inability to book another presenter is THEIR problem, and doesn't constitute a valid reason for unconstitutionally censoring an academic.

As one of my professor's used to put it so succinctly, "There are two types of problems in this world, namely yours and mine. Do not attempt to make your problems mine."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Katsuto Momii should be replaced!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

And to know that the concept behind NHK was based on the BBC... I love how they don't even really try to pretend to be objective anymore. They know they deal with a docile and ignorant public and act probably try to look like the teacher's pet, showing how supportive they are of the abe regime. Good boys. When are we gonna get the obasan/ojisan wearing traditional garbs and speaking in an authorative voice, much like North Korea? What will it take? 5 years? 10...?

Regarding this Momii clown going before the Diet, I think we all know what will come of that: Nothing. They will sit there and nag for a bit, but if he bows deep enough and says a few strategical 'sorry', it will all be water under the bridge.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Katsuto Momii should be replaced!

Actually, he should have already been replaced! Why has he still been there?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Suppression if free speech in Japan is a sign that the country is turning into a fascist state....

You ARE joking, right? How about a democracy where your movements are recorded on masses of CCTV cameras in every city, where your emails and internet chats are monitored by automated systems in the same of national security... Japan is nirvana compared to the UK. Japan is about as far from a fascist state as you can get. Politicians can be voted out of office thanks to that ancient discovery: democracy. Abe will do something stupid, his approval ratings will plunge and he will become a burden on his party. Happens all the time.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

When are we gonna get the obasan/ojisan wearing traditional garbs and speaking in an authorative voice, much like North Korea?

Well Ive seen posters of Abe on corners around much of Tokyo etc. If that isnt encouraging "dear leader" worship, I dont know what is. Ive been hoping someone would deface them like in the west, but so far not yet

2 ( +4 / -2 )

aussie-musashi, some of those posters have been defaced near where I live.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People generally thought Japan media is better than China media because JP media supposed to be more independent instead of connecting to country's ruling party. Clearly Katsuto Momii is acting like a watch dog of LDP so he got the NHK position! It's really shameful ! NHK is Japan's People's Daily now!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just get rid of him.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I remember my partner was against my idea to dump Japanese TV altogether and stop paying the NHK fee years ago. We kept it after the LDP put the blocks on an NHK broadcast on what could have been an interesting documentary about the emperor's role in WW2. We kept it after NHK was rightly criticized for failing to do its journalistic duty in the aftermath of Fukushima. It was only until the switch to digital we decided not to buy a tuner or a new TV. We use the fee to subscribe to channels of much higher quality and better content. We are not misers but we do regret the amount of money we wasted on this extremely poor broadcaster.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The academic said he had been planning to comment on the costs of nuclear if the risk of accidents is included

For which there is no credible counterargument.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

aussie-musashi, some of those posters have been defaced near where I live

Phew thats a relief then. Oh, and Momii should be fired. The only thing hes fit to manage is a retirement home, and even then that might be too generous

2 ( +3 / -1 )

People generally thought Japan media is better than China media because JP media supposed to be more independent instead of connecting to country's ruling party.

If you look at the world's press freedom index, Japan is a miserable 54th. That was couple of years ago, before Abe's knives began the surgery. I would say they just dropped at least another dozen notches down already.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Defacing political campaign posters is an extremely serious offence in japan and carries lengthy jail terms. There was a guy a few years ago got 18 months for putting a moustache on a campaign poster. Kill a kid in your car and get a suspended sentence. Draw a moustache on a some cronies poster and you go directly to jail. I think that explains Japanese politics quite well.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan cannot afford to have such an "inexperienced" mediocrity at the top of its national broadcasting cooperation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“I was not familiar with that kind of opportunity… from now on I will do my job based on the Broadcast Act,”

Sadly, it will not change his true opinion, which is what he stated and what the current government backs. He's just sorry for the problems his comments caused, not for the comments themselves. Can this sad sack of BS. The sooner the better. Until then, no one pay NHK fees. I told my local collector the other day I refuse to pay based on what the man said and the collector was furious, demanding it was a legal obligation, never mind that I never watch TV anyway. I told her to pass me the man's personal apology and then I would consider paying, and she screamed for a bit then stormed away.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He is 70, in many countries he would require regular testing to retain a driving Licence, let alone head a national broadcasting TV station? In his first outing caused a problem, perhaps a full time care giver might save the situation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yeah, but! His opinions are are his own and quite true. It's only because the rest of the political cronies got their nose out of joint the is in the poop. He stated that Japan has a lot to atone for in regards to the comfort women and it will take Asia a long time to forget it and, all the right wing cronies downplaying the severity of it is damaging Japan's international relations with its foreign neighbors. He is right and being ostracized for it. "The nail that stands up must be hammered down!" Sad, but true!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The academic said he had been planning to comment on the costs of nuclear if the risk of accidents is included

It's not only that. He wanted also to point out that the decommission cost of nuclear reactors is not properly taken into account by the power companies. Which is a FACT, it's not being anti nuclear to say that and the reason invoked by these liars is BS. Moreover, NHK has countless of times provided large venues for some pro nuclear dudes to throw lies to the face of the public without anyone to respond. In fact it has never been possible to say anything clearly anti nuclear on NHK, never.

Japan democracy, my a..., it has a long time ago gone to the toilet. The next time an ugly dude from NHK comes to my door asking to pay, he may really have an unpleasant time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

cricky stated He is 70, in many countries he would require regular testing to retain a driving Licence, let alone head a national broadcasting TV station? In his first outing caused a problem, perhaps a full time care giver might save the situation.

Japan is not in many countries. It has own custom but not copycat many countries. Maybe LDP will find 80 plus years old experienced Japan Inc. executives to replace him? Must be difficult to find pro-nuke person in Japan.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"The broadcaster said Friday it had only done so because it was not able to book a pro-nuclear guest as a balance to his views. We asked the professor to drop the nuclear issue because we have to ensure fairness during the election campaign where nuclear power is one of the issues"

That doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. If there is a debate program then you obviously need people giving opposite views.

But this professor was going to give the COST figures factoring in accidents. That's not a opinion or view, its a financial estimate isn't it? Unless they wanted a different accountant on the same show.

Japanese need to know the cost of nuclear energy factoring in the building of the plants AND the dismantling of the plants and disposal of waste regardless of whether there are accidents or not.

And it seems to me, most Japanese shows I watch only have one expert on anyway.

But the excuse that they couldn't find a pronuclear talking head? What, are all the phone lines down or something? Is NHK that understaffed? Sounds like a joke. Does anyone really think they couldn't find someone? How about ringing up those guys who kept saying that it was only level 1, then level 2, then level3 ....and that it wasn't a meltdown. Seems like there were lots of those guys around Tokyo.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Strangerland,

It's a socialist democracy.

Well, the ruling party at the moment is not socialist in any way.

The LDP is curiously named.

It is clearly neither Liberal nor Democratic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This was not a coincidence, nor was it a surprise. I imagine that all of this is concocted by Abe when he is standing in front of the bathroom mirror dressed in his Tojo outfit. That is where his delusions of grandeur are born and then imposed on his underlings. In his first stint as pm, Abe is rumoured to have been on the phone with NHK frequently to complain about them broadcasting something not to his liking or something too close to the truth instead of Abe's own misguided views of (Imperial) Japanese history. Wonder what he told the NHK bosses. Do as I say or you will be forever demoted to NHK fee collecting duties? Just lean on this Momii fellow real good and he'll soon squeal that Abe made him say his ianfu rant. Every country did it. And Hashimoto wasting no time with parroting the same. What the hell are these idiots thinking I wonder. They are believing their own mumbo jumbo now. Well, apart from Japan's wartime palls the Nazis, I can't recall ever having read about any other country having been engaged in state sponsered rape during WW2. But that doesn't reflect well on the country, so we'll just deny it and/or shift the blame. They should tar and feather Abe and his cronies and then run them out of town before they can do any more damage to this country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This sad phenomenon only can happen in Japan - the head of national broadcast company is able do something terribly wrong. yet still get away with it.

Here is the thing: Momii is not alone, last year Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto got off the hook after his inflammatory comments on Japan’s war atrocity, so did Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso Taro ‘s infamous nazi remarks. A political and social environment somehow seem to lose human decency in terms of justice.

One must wonder what would the reason and cause that these wrongdoings In Japan can keep repeat without being punished? Something is definitely not right here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“We can’t say it is left if the government says it is right,” he said, adding he had the final say on the network’s output.

Naturally, we can't have any inconvenient truth get in the way of government propaganda now, can we. TIJ - the self proclaimed beacon of democracy in Asia.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bertie: JiMin-To is misnomer. jiyu means (can do whatever we want) Minshu meant we gave women voting right. There was Shinpo-to, . In essence, it should name Hoshu-to but hoshu did not appeal Japanese people who began enjoying big mouth culture to exploit new technologies. So, pretentious Ji-Min to is used. We hated hoshu because sounded stuck to old old custom.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Apologizing - or losing face - is a brave act from any Tanaka-san. From the J-elites, this is nothing else than a way to void instantaneously a bad behaviour or speech. Shame!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Please refer to the URL below. http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

This is the report of the United States Armed Forces.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come on Japan, what's happening to your country? We all understand you want to be strong, but please dont loose your mind again like before.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When are they going to wise up and politely ask Momii to leave?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

LDP has a hard time to convince someone to replace him. Otherwise it will lose Tokyo Governorship. Disaster for LDP after it lost Nago Mayor election. LDP big shots are scared Koizumi might create coalition Govt to topple LDP dominance. They may need to defect to the new coalition.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's obvious Mr Momii is one of ABE's cronies and he is NOT as naive as he portrays himself. This character knew all well he was blurting controversial remark and knew he was NOT going to get seriously reprimanded by ABE or LDP for being so vulgar & reckless. Abe sure knows how to pick the right fanatics for his cause.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Momoi might be planning to replace Abe in JDP. Aso tried with his big mouth but failed. Momoi is brainless so he did not remember Aso's fate. Right now, like tokyodomo analyzed, he is only crony but cronies dream he will replace his master with big mouth.tokyodomo analyzed very well Momoi decided to outdo Abe and he blurted..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm 100% in support of Momii, and I wish instead of apologising he would have continued telling the truth. As Japan grows economically due to Abe's stunning policies, it will need to instil a new national pride in its youth. Because the existential threats to Japan are real, I don't believe dissent should be tolerated. We need to stick together, be of one mind, and stay focused on the external threats to our very way of life.Thus shall we build a beautiful nation, Japan.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Simply put he should have exercised more caution. He was juvenile and insensitive. He needs to make the change now before he burns more bridges. So he should do the right thing and resign. A more honorable man would step down Mr. Katsuto Momii.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Toru Nakakita, a Cambridge-educated economist and professor at Toyo University, who regularly provides commentary on an NHK radio program, told local media he had resigned after a producer warned him to avoid the issue."

"The academic said he had been planning to comment on the costs of nuclear if the risk of accidents is included,"

Wow, waaay too radical for NHK.

A Cambridge-educated economist had been planning to comment on the costs of nuclear if the risk of accidents is included?

Golly, what's next? The cost of war when human lives are wasted for private profit?

The cost of appointing a lap dog to head one of the world’s biggest broadcasters who blames inexperience for stating forced systematic rape of innocent women is just SOP when invading foreign countries? When did everyone get so judgmental? How's that Democracy working out?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Certain things taking place routinely in some countries may reflect the fatal flaws and repulsive attitudes that are deep-rooted in these places. Case in point, politicians in Japan keep using hogwash to dodge the facts of Japan’s war crimes, dissentients in China are put into jail for just speaking on their minds, young women in India are living with the constant fear for the high possibility to be sexually abused …

These brutal injustice and human-right violations should be addressed and challenged seriously by the general public, Tolerance for nefariousness would be a crime itself.

Just curious, on this improtant issue, where are the majority of zest nationalists who are oftentimes busy to haul insults to other people having different views ? Cat got their tongues ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

toshiko: "Momoi might be planning to replace Abe in JDP."

Well, he certainly qualifies by Japanese standards of selecting politicians: bigoted comments, brain dead, can't relate to the public, hollow apologies, etc. The man should be fired, but instead, as is often the case in Japan, he'll probably be promoted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just get rid of him.

He was Abe`s choice, so Abe stands to lose face if they get rid of him. Still, yet again it sends a signal to other politicians that they can make stupid insensitive statements, then apologise and retract them with no personal repercussions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Homeland - good luck with your crusade.

But not everyone shares your sentiments of finding joy in following Mr Abe and his cronies nationalistic bent.

Many of my Japanese friends are extremely disturbed and Momii's comments (illegal btw re nhk's charter) and the almost jocular manner in which he made them and spoke in the diet, is enough to sow seeds of doubt in any concerned persons mind about the dangerous agenda on display.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But not everyone shares your sentiments of finding joy in following Mr Abe and his cronies nationalistic bent.

True, but no-one is willing to take to the streets in demonstrations either. The Japanese philosophy of "the nail that stands up gets hammered down" is used against them time and again by their so-called leaders

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A person with a faulty thought process should not have been given the job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh he apologized for 'causing trouble'. the same kind of weak kneed response as 'Sorry for any offence I might have caused', designed to deflect blame on the victims of the insult for being offended.

How about he genuinely apologize for spinning bald face lies in the face of history. Japan must own up to its past.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How about he genuinely apologize for spinning bald face lies in the face of history.

Yes, and resign. Until he does so I refuse to have anything more to do with NHK. In fact I`d prefer to stop paying their stupid fees altogether

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No country is perfect, that's for sure but what the hell is going on here, really? I bet Japan's overlords are watching this really closely and I bet they will not give abe such a long leash... Much like I said above, nothing really happened in this Diet session. A bunch of old people sitting in a room - not much different from lunch time at the retirement home. Nothing will happen. The geriatrics making up the Japanese politician pool are probably all of the same view as Momii and think his views are alright.

Here's what I would like to see: some serious, investigative journos, cheking this guy out thoroughly. What is his background, what are his affiliations? Why does this never happen in Japan? All we get are breadcrumbs of information, handed out in intervals to uphold the image of Japan as a democracy. Where are the Woodward/Bernsteins of Japan? Do they exist? Have they ever existed (probably not).

Japan has many good qualities, but the power structure here is seriously messed up. Start cleaning it up by giving Momii the foot. Give him one of those red light sticks to wave his ass off somewhere in inaka.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

homleand: "Because the existential threats to Japan are real, I don't believe dissent should be tolerated. We need to stick together, be of one mind, and stay focused on the external threats to our very way of life."

So, in other words, you want to be exactly like China. Ironic, don't you think? I'm always amazed by people like you who declare that to 'fight nations like China' Japan needs to become China.

"I'm 100% in support of Momii, and I wish instead of apologising he would have continued telling the truth."

Thing is, it's not so much an issue of truth or lies (the latter fits his description) as it is a matter of opinion.

BTW: did you intentionally misspell 'homeland'?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Here's what I would like to see: some serious, investigative journos

Hmm, Abe might declare Momii`s comments to be a state secret and have any investigating journalists arrested

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@budgie Definitely that is the apology that the right wing politicians use when they must resort to something. No wonder the neighbour countries are losing heads.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Because the existential threats to Japan are real, I don't believe dissent should be tolerated.

There's just never a kempetai around when you need one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This NHK idiot should not only be fired but also made to return his salary from NHK!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Until Momii resigns I`m having nothing more to do with NHK

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yesterday this same Momii said the Naking Massacre did not happen. It's not that he truely belives it did not happen. He is just trying to wipe this off the memory of the Japanese people, so that no one in Japan knows about its hasty history before, so that they can be proud Japanese.

There're a lot of people who think like Momii in Japan. It's a struggle between national pride and past history. Isn't interesting that Germany does not have the same problem? They are proud of themselves, and acceptably so.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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