A Japanese Scholar Claims that in Japan Freedom of the Press Is in Danger
"The Japanese media operate in an environment where free speech is guaranteed by the law and the Constitution, and where there is no overt government censorship." But Tessa Morris-Suzuki charges that "The NHK Affair ... has exposed the extent to which formal media freedoms are being hollowed out by a combination of corrosive forces." (The NHK Affair involves charges that the broadcast giant caved in to pressure from the government to make changes in a documentary about the "subjection of women from colonized countries to institutionalized rape and sexual abuse in so-called “comfort stations” established by the Japanese military.")
"These forces," says Tessa Morris-Suzuki, "include, first, the lack of a vigorous political opposition; second, entrenched, behind-the-scenes links between media organizations and leading ruling party politicians; third, a tiny terrorist far right whose occasional acts of violence and repeated threats of violence the Japanese police have never been able or willing to constrain; and fourth, a mainstream commercial press whose competitive strategies include regular and well-choreographed verbal assaults on individuals or organizations seen as hostile to the political establishment."
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