Japan press freedom under threat, UN special rapporteur says

(From UPI)

By Elizabeth Shim

Japan is coming under strong criticism for curbs on press freedom.

David Kaye, a U.N. special rapporteur on media issues, told reporters Tuesday that his week-long interviews with members of Japan’s press corps revealed journalistic independence is being challenged in the country, The Japan Times reported.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe takes a question

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe takes a question

“The theoretical possibility of government regulation and organization…combined cause media freedom to suffer; media independence to suffer,” Kaye said.

Since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed office in late 2012, Tokyo has been driving what Kaye called “really worrying” trends in media, the Financial Times reported.

The government has often been at the forefront of increased regulations. Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi had said she could close “politically biased” broadcasters, citing a broadcasting law that can legally suspend television stations.

Kaye said such statements and the law itself could be interpreted as a threat to media freedom. Read more


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