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Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 14:00 - 15:30

Abe Administration and Media
Mamoru Sakamoto & Takeharu Watai
Journalists
Hiroyoshi Sunakawa
Director of Media Institute
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

 A cultural battle over the freedom of press is unfolding in Japan. The Abe government is extremely sensitive about dissenting views in the TV media, with one LDP politician urging companies to withhold advertising in media organizations with views unfavourable to the administration.

 The Broadcasting Ethics & Program Improvement Organization (BPO) recently criticized the administration and the ruling party for their interference in a NHK Close Up Gendai program found to have made false assertions. BPO is an independent organization set up by a group of broadcasters including NHK.

 The government says Article 4 of the Broadcasting Law provides it with the authority to do that to punish TV stations that broadcast "biased and incorrect" programs. But a majority of lawyers and law scholars oppose that interpretation of the law, arguing that article 4 provides for an ethical norm which broadcasters apply to themselves.

 Early this year, the administration and the LDP successfully ousted TV Asahi commentator Shigeaki Koga from one of the station's news show. Now the target seems to be Shigetada Kishii, a TBS news show caster. Kishii is a veteran political journalist who criticized the administration’s handling of the security bills. A group of people including those close to the Prime Minister placed a full page newspaper advertisement that appeared to attack Kishii without mentioning his name.

 Journalists and academics concerned about the treatment of the press in Japan will hold a press conference on December 15 to talk about the issue. Speakers are Mamoru Sakamoto, journalist and lecturer at Nihon University, Hiroyoshi Sunagawa, associate professor at Rikkyo University and director of the Media Research Institute, Takeharu Watai, freelance journalist and film director of documentaries included the internationally recognized “Little Birds” that portrayed families in war-ravaged IRAQ.

 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

Dec 15 15 PC Sakamoto Sunagawa  Watai024Dec 15 15 PC Sakamoto Sunagawa  Watai028Dec 15 15 PC Sakamoto Sunagawa  Watai061

Hiroyoshi Sunakawa        Mamoru Sakamoto       Takeharu Watai

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