politics

Summons of Japanese media raises complaints of interference

44 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Summons of Japanese media raises complaints of interference

They are not 'complaints'. They are extremely legitimate concerns.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

The Foreign Ministry’s budget for propagating its official views on history and territorial disputes was raised to 52 billion yen ($438 million) this year from 2 billion yen last year to “correct understanding by the international society,” the ministry says.

I am quite sure there are literally thousands of people in the Tohoku area that could give a crap about this issue and could find better uses for the money wasted on propaganda like this.

Abe should be ashamed of this....along with a HOST of other things.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

'Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga denied suggestions of censorship and said the summons were not intended to pressure the media."

"Jiro Kawasaki, head of the LDP panel, said the two executives were summoned to answer questions about allegations that the programs contained “distorted” materials."

Jaw dropping arrogance. But does the average citizen aware of or care about this? I hope so.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

“If the ongoing media self-censorship continues and there is only news that serves the government’s interest, people will be brainwashed,”

Too late. They already are.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Not just interference. Not just arrogance. Totalitarian harassment that is one small step away from what Japan's generational right-wing terrorists do to quash dissent in Japan. That LDP is going after the already squeamish Japanese media show you the totalitarian state these rightists have in mind for us. The LDP very simply has got to be kicked out of power and kept out of power forever.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Abe’s government has been criticized as being too sensitive to critical reporting.

That's not right! They are being criticised for trying to control the media. The media has always been under state control in Jaoan and a lot of news is never released. Now, since Abe introduced the secrecy law there is even more news not being released. Who does this guy think he is? The king of Thailand? Or, does he think he is that twit from North Korea? State controlled media is a trade of a Fasciest state, not a democracy!

8 ( +13 / -5 )

So I assume "we" also have to be careful! "Uncle Shinzo" is watching you"!!

I mean quite a few of us are cirtizising the Japanese Government and its officials.

I don't want to be "asked" to appear in front of our "dear leaders".

3 ( +9 / -6 )

And people rant on about the state-run media in China... Japan is no different!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Right Sensato. Japan's news= another biased tool to indoctrinate the masses. What a scam.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This is right out of the pages of George Orwell's Animal Farm.

Their euphemisms astound me: “correct understanding by the international society,” and “fair coverage [of the Abe government by the Japanese and foreign media]."

This is all part of Abe's "beautiful country, Japan (「美しい国、日本」)" crusade. He is using the LDP thugs to intimidate and quell dissent at home, and the MOFA censorship gestapo to harass journalists, educators and politicians abroad.

I would be curious to hear how this Brave New World under Abe has impacted Japan Today.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Prime Minister Abe trying to create his own "Ministry of Truth".

10 ( +14 / -4 )

LOL - "Ministry of Truth" -classic.

Now that would be a large can of worms huh-

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University in Tokyo, says intolerance of criticism has grown because of a tendency to equate criticism of the Japanese government with anti-Japanese sentiment.

Same with the US. Try to criticize the US government and you are labeled as anti-American. Nothing new here.

1 ( +10 / -8 )

Criticizing the US is one thing. But when you repeatedly "bash" the US (in these here JT forums) well then, its not so unfair to label "YOU" as anti-American.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Senpai leaning on kohai. It's obviously an attempt to abridge freedom of the press. Call them on the carpet where they have no choice but to squirm and apologize, then turn them loose chastened and obedient. Same thing teachers do with kids from kindergarten through graduation, what bosses and managers do to employees. When the top dog barks, the puppies whimper. And someone was trying to tell me what a democracy this is.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"The Foreign Ministry’s budget for propagating its official views on history and territorial disputes was raised to 52 billion yen ($438 million) this year from 2 billion yen last year to “correct understanding by the international society,” the ministry says."

So, in other words, the 'propaganda budget'. The new China is alive and well, I see.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

The new China is alive and well, I see.

Which? The US, or their obedient little kid, Japan?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

And people rant on about the state-run media in China... Japan is no different!

Tu quoque and the fallacy of false equivalence. Two fallacies that taste great together.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

People "will be brainwashed"? They already are!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

In one program, an Asahi commentator made remarks critical of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office

S.F.W. Senor` tummyache...doth protest TOO much.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The Foreign Ministry’s budget for propagating its official views on history and territorial disputes was raised to 52 billion yen ($438 million) this year from 2 billion yen last year to “correct understanding by the international society,” the ministry says.

Let's just...look at this for a moment. A 50 BILLION yen increase to promote nationalist propoganda. For what purpose? So Japan can be a "shiny beacon" or whatever Abe said about Japan "shining"

Maybe first, be a more mature entity on the world stage. Then the world MIGHT start to treat with you with some respect.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Senpai leaning on kohai.

Hardly, the journalists have been in their professions longer than these elected officials, it's plain bullying, nothing more nothing less and folks here wonder why it happens in school's.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Right. Bullying, another notorious aspect of Japanese culture. Happening in schools and all the way up to the LDP / TV Execs.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I wonder does this mean that companies with ties to the LDP will start buying media companies that focuse on the foreign community in Japan to control the information that reaches the foreign population.

It is funny that Japan doesn't realize it has no real clout on the World Stage!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is funny that Japan doesn't realize it has no real clout on the World Stage!

It knows it. It's between two giants (the US and China), and it must side with the US. The anti-China/revisionism propaganda is part of this choice.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

“This shabby tactic defines criticism of Abe as criticism of Japan putting journalists in the awkward position of having to demonstrate ‘love’ for Japan,” he said in an article Friday in the online review Asia-Pacific Journal.

Bout sums it up. Any criticism of Abe or the LDP is viewed as being "anti-Japan". Which is completely contradictory to the concepts of free speech and democracy. My god, FOX News makes its living off of criticising Obama and the Dems.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Foreign Ministry’s budget for propagating its official views on history and territorial disputes was raised to 52 billion yen ($438 million) this year from 2 billion yen last year to “correct understanding by the international society,

Is anybody else interested in seeing an itemised account of how this money gets spent? Because when I signed up to pay 3% more tax on everything I buy, it was on the understanding that it was necessary to save the country from fiscal ruin.

I certainly didn't sign up to putting my hand in my pocket to finance yet another boondoggle for Abe's right-wing, revisionist, history-denying buddies. First the 900 billion thrown at Abe's concrete chums for a tsunami wall, and now this? I want my money back.

I want to see how anyone can spend 52 billion yen on propaganda nobody wants to read. Or is it just going into a bank account somewhere?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think people need to calm down and stop believeing the article. NHK has nothing to do with goverment censorship in this case. NHK was simply wrong on this issue, see below.

Man portrayed as a real fraud broker in NHK documentary was in fact not a broker but had been asked by NHK.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002072285

I personally start to get suspicious, the author, Mari Yamaguchi of this article.. she mixed up two different thinggs, NHK and Asahi, making an impression that both two medias are victim of goverment censorship.

I start to search what kind of women Mari Yamaguchi is over internet to see if any bias in her view. You do that too, and you decided what to believe.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The anti-China/revisionism propaganda is part of this choice.

by choice, I meant "choice". Forgot the inverted commas.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I wonder does this mean that companies with ties to the LDP will start buying media companies that focus on the foreign community in Japan to control the information that reaches the foreign population.

@Silvafan

What you say is very worrisome, and I am pretty sure you are referring to this: On April 7, Fuji Media Holdings (Fuji TV) purchased the operator of this website and other sites aimed at Japan's international community.

A Google search on Fuji TV shows that in the past the broadcaster has been described as often espousing views of a certain conservative newspaper and providing "the most favorable news coverage" toward the LDP.

Also, Fuji TV had a talk show in 2001 that allowed LDP conservatives such as Shintaro Ishihara to "present their views unchallenged."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hardly, the journalists have been in their professions longer than these elected officials, it's plain bullying, nothing more nothing less and folks here wonder why it happens in school's.

The journalists could have been in their professions for a million years each and the LDP politicians at the national level will always be their senpai. They are everyone's senpai, except maybe for the heads of the oldest and biggest companies here. Journalists are just here to do what the LDP says and sell Cool Japan. They're approximately worthless in the scheme of things beyond that. But I agree with the bullying notion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Alex80: "Which? The US, or their obedient little kid, Japan?"

Well, let's see, Alex... it's about the Japanese media censoring and putting pressure on any media that does not see eye to eye with the government and does not toe the line, so it would pretty obviously, to anyone without some unrelated grudge against the US, be about Japan, wouldn't it?

I'm just surprised your not blaming the JAPANESE government's actions here on the US war in Iraq or something.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The most frustrating thing is that despite all this, LDP candidates just got overwhelmingly elected at the local elections and will most likely win the next time around again. What will it take? Seems this place has no capacity for meaningful change.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga denied suggestions of censorship and said the summons were not intended to pressure the media."

Yeah, right. They were intended to what exactly then?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Foreign Ministry’s budget for propagating its official views on history and territorial disputes was raised to 52 billion yen ($438 million) this year from 2 billion yen last year to “correct understanding by the international society,” the ministry says.

that statement says it all. not to correct MIS-understanding.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why is all this money, our tax my money, being squandered on propaganda?

Surely, this could be used to get the country out of the financial quagmire it's in.

I'm not paying my taxes to have the TV tell me what to think, textbooks whitewashed, English speaking shills on forums, and thugs visiting government departments overseas, and telling them to remove their sex slave statues.

Je suis Charlie Brooker .

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@smithinjapan: how convenient for you speaking about Japan like being THE new China, ignoring the fact it's the US "little brother". But it's useless discussing here about some problems, it's so easy to be labeled "anti-American" also when you say the most obvious facts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Really, it's not censorship, it's just suggested improvements in writing. Here you go...let me help:

Koichi Nakano, an international politics professor at Sophia University in Tokyo, said Abe’s government is promoting (a revisionist) --> (an interesting) view of Japan’s wartime military (atrocities) -->(activities), and is steering public opinion to support (divisive) -->(distinctive) policies such as expanding the military’s role and revising the country’s (war-renouncing) -->(outdated) constitution.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I for one believe that the LDP has not gone about doing the job well enough. There is this guy, Murakami or some such, who is reportedly some author or something like that. Well it turns out this Murakami character is going around spewing out masochistic history propaganda. I think the LDP needs to call this guy in and tell him a thing or two.

And for all you folks criticizing the LDP here. You had better watch out. I am on the LDP side, and I will not be summoned. But you LDP-phobes might be.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

" Totalitarian harassment that is one small step away from what Japan's generational right-wing terrorists do to quash dissent in Japan."

This applies to both far-right and far-left who both do their utmost to impose their will on others. Agree with us, or shut up, they say.

It is indeed rather Orwellian, with elements of both Animal Farm( the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union) and 1984, which has been followed as a blueprint by certain developed nation governments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The journalists could have been in their professions for a million years each and the LDP politicians at the national level will always be their senpai.

Not senpai....they will always be 先生、 (sensei), as with just all elected officials from the town council up to the diet people will refer (defer) to them and call them sensei.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There was just a long segment on this on the news I was watching. I'm glad that at least some Japanese news agencies aren't letting the government do this without saying anything. The government needs to be taken to task on this matter.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Last week there was a report on NHK about Taiwan introducing new restrictions on Japanese food imports. NHK only reported the Japanese government's side of the story, i.e. it's all perfectly safe, omitting to mention that the reason for the new restrictions was repeated mis-labelling of Japanese imports. Produce from Fukushima is being passed off as coming from elsewhere.

If this is happening to exports it is almost certainly happening within Japan. But not a word of this is broadcast, presumably due to government censorship, or "pressure" as it's now called.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

NHK only reported the Japanese government's side of the story

Anyone who expects otherwise had better get their heads out of the sand when it comes to one-sided media reporting in Japan.

It happens ALL the time, even in the country too, like down here with regards to the US Military, they do all sorts of great things for their communities but never a peep in the media....the list is long with regards to the media not reporting what it should be reporting and it makes things worse when the government puts pressure on the limit it even further.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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