The revival broadcast of a popular Japanese television show in the 1980s featuring offensive stereotypes of gay men generated public outrage.
Recent reports of increasing political pressure on the freedom of the media raise serious concerns that the Japanese government may be trying to prevent journalists from fulfilling their role as watchdogs of democracy.
Article 21 of the Constitution of Japan guarantees freedom of assembly, association, speech, press and all other forms of expression.
Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will see a wide range of changes sweeping the economy and the community. These include copyright changes, which unlike in many other TPP countries have sparked national attention.
“Given the fundamental need for independent media in a democracy, we urge Japan’s leaders to ensure that media outlets’ ability to report freely is respected and to take steps to protect that ability,” said IPI Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven M. Ellis.
RWB supports the legal action taken by a group of 43 independent journalists in an attempt to get Japan’s state secrets law overturned on the grounds of unconstitutionality.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet publicly announced guidelines on how Japan’s security law, which was passed in December 2013, is to be implemented.
RWB takes note of a Japanese prosecutor’s decision to suspend “criminal contempt” proceedings against freelance journalist Mari Takenouchi in connection with her coverage of the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
RSF deplores the climate of censorship and self-censorship that continues to prevail in discussions of nuclear energy in Japan three years after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
There are concerns that a recently passed state secrets law “will deter potential whistleblowers in Japan from approaching journalists with information that is in the public interest, thereby undermining the ability of the media to report on issues that criticize and expose corruptions, abuse and wrongdoings.”
The Japanese Parliament is urged to reject the pending Special Secret Protection Bill, which violates international standards on freedom of expression and the right to information.
Japan is arriving late to the Trans Pacific Partnership table, but its participation already risks making Japanese law harsher while demolishing the hard-won victories of copyright reformers in the country.
Reporters Without Borders declares its support for a legal demand to a Tokyo court by three freelance Japanese journalists seeking access to an official press club building that would allow them to cover anti-nuclear demonstrations.
Two Hong-Kong based Phoenix TV journalists were among a group of 14 arrested by Japanese authorities over a disputed territory in the East China Sea.