Last month, the FCCJ celebrated press freedom and commemorated the work of journalists under siege. The annual Freedom of the Press Awards recognized the remarkable work of Shukan Bunshun, which continued to cover the Johnny Kitagawa sexual abuse scandal when other publications ignored it. Fittingly, the weekly magazine shared the Japan award with Mobeen Azhar and Megumi Inman, whose BBC documentary helped bring the scandal out of the shadows and into the international headlines. The club also recognised journalists from China and, posthumously, Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian TV journalist, for Al Jazeera. Hisayo Saika, a TV journalist for Mainichi Broadcasting System, received a lifetime achievement award for her work on uncovering attempts by the Japanese right to revise history and politicize high school education. Eric Johnston has the full story. Elsewhere, Eiichiro Tokumoto looks at the Abe clan’s relationship with the Unification Church, while Mark Schreiber revisits the infamous Meriken-goro murders of the early 1900s. In their regular columns, Philip Brasor and Masako Tsubuku review a growing scandal in the rarefied world of Kabuki, and Eric Johnston explains why Hokkaido is far from immune to the climate crisis. Karyn Nishimura analyzes media coverage of the Fukushima water discharge controversy and David McNeill profiles the trailblazing TV news anchor Yuko Ando.
Cover artwork: Julio Shiiki