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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Political Pressure on NHK Programs

From Mainichi Newspaper on June 12, 2009:

Liberal Democratic Party established "Association of MPs to Think About Public Broadcasting"

(Belowing is the English translation of the Mainichi News by Satoko)
On June 11, a group of LDP Members of Parliament launched "Association of MPs to Think About Public Broadcasting." The new group claim that the NHK Special "Series Debut of Japan Part I 'First-Class Country of Asia'" (aired on April 5, 2009) was biased. The chair is Keiji Furuya 古屋圭司 (House of Representatives), and the Executive Director is Tomomi Inada 稲田朋美(House of Representatives). The launching general meeting held within the Parliament Building were attended by 60 MPs including former Prime Ministers Yoshiro Mori 森喜朗, Shinzo Abe 安倍晋三, and former Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa 中川昭一.

The program examined Japan's rule of Taiwan based on testimonies by the people involved, and the archival material "Governor-General of Taiwan Archivals" (台湾総督府文書). Some private organizations complained to NHK that this program "had an anti-Japan tone throughout," and another LDP's group "Group of MPs to Think About the Future of Japan and History Education" (chaired by Nariaki Nakayama) also submitted a letter of inquiries.

Here is the original Mainichi news.
 NHKスペシャル「シリーズ JAPANデビュー 第1回アジアの“一等国”」(4月5日放映)の内容が偏向していたなどとして、自民党の国会議員有志でつくる「公共放送のあり方について考える議員の会」が11日発足した。会長に古屋圭司氏(衆院議員)、事務局長に稲田朋美氏(同)が就任。国会内で開かれた設立総会には森喜朗、安倍晋三の両元首相、中川昭一前財務・金融相ら約60人が出席した。

This is a very dangerous move by right-wing politicians to intervene with NHK on the content of their programs. Shinzo Abe and Shoichi Nakagawa are known as having put political pressure on NHK and made them changed much of the content and the tone of their program that reported "Women's International War Crimes Tribunalon Japan's Military Sexual Slavery", held in 2000. Tomomi Inada is known as having attempted to make phone calls and to influence Naoji Kariya, the 90-year old sword master who appeared in "Film Yasukuni" (directed by Ying Li, 2007). We must be alert and be aware of these politicians' move to censor and change TV program and films that are inconvenient for their version of history, in which they often deny Japan's past wrongdoings like sex slavery and Nanjing Massacre, claim that the colonization of Korea and Taiwan were beneficial for those countries, and essentially believe the invasive 15-year wars of Japan against China and fellow Asian nations were just wars.

Such news is hardly reported in English so I feel it is my responsibility to get the word out, outside of Japan. I will follow up with more information.


1 comment:

  1. Satoko-san, Thank you for disseminating this information, and especially for making the news available for the English-speaking audience.