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Monday, October 06, 2014, 16:00 - 17:00

Japan-style McCarthyism and Threats to Academic Freedom
Koichi Nakano
Professor of Political Science, Sophia University
Jiro Yamaguchi
Professor of Hosei University
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English

 For years, critics have been demanding that the Asahi newspaper withdraw a series of falsified stories on the so-called comfort women issue. This summer, they finally got their wish. The fallout from “Asahi-gate” has been remarkable. Conservatives have called for a national boycott of the newspaper. Two leading dailies, the Yomiuri and the Sankei, have set up hotlines to poach Asahi readers. The government of Shinzo Abe has threatened to haul the newspaper’s editors before the Diet. A group of lawmakers has even formed an anti-Asahi lobby, presumably designed to bring down Japan’s premier liberal newspaper.

 Amidst all the flak comes a more sinister development: Rightists have targeted former Asahi journalist and the workplaces that employ them. Two universities: Hokusei Gakuen in Hokkaido and Tezukayama Gakuin in Osaka have been sent threatening letters demanding the firing of two ex Asahi Shinbun journalists who now teach there. One professor at Tezukayama Gakuin has already left since receiving death threats.

 Hokusei Gakuen University has pledged not to bow to the threats against its staff. But is also says it “might reconsider” the position of the ex-Asahi journalist, who lectures there part-time. It is now selecting its part time teachers for the next academic year of 2015. The university has been bombarded with abusive mails and calls demanding the lecturer be fired.

 Two distinguished speakers have agreed to come to the FCCJ and discuss these disturbing threats and the issue of academic freedom. Jiro Yamaguchi is a Professor of Hosei University and a Japan Times columnist who has warned about the dangers of McCarthy-style campaigns of intimidation in Japan. Koichi Nakano is a professor of political science at Sophia University and a well-known commentator in the media. Come along and hear what they have to say.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee

Oct 06 14 PC Koichi Nakano  Jiro Yamaguchi012Oct 06 14 PC Koichi Nakano  Jiro Yamaguchi006

koichi Nakano                                Jiro Yamaguchi



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