Producer testified he was pressured by Japanese public broadcaster to gut program on war crimes

A producer of a TV documentary program on the "Women's International War Crime Tribunal" has admitted that NHK, Japan's public broadcaster, pressured him to cut witnesses' testimonies about the Japanese Army's acts.

The producer stated this during oral proceedings in the Tokyo District Court on July 16. He said he was pressed by the NHK management to cut testimonies of perpetrators of the Japanese Army and shorten testimonies of victims of sex slavery.

NHK was sued in 2001 by the Violence against Women in War-Network Japan (VAWW-Net Japan) regarding its TV program on the "Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery".

VAWW-Net Japan claims that NHK's program "The Question of Wartime Sexual Violence" aired on January 30, 2001 as the second of a four-part series failed to present any basic information concerning the Tribunal.

It also criticizes NHK for intentionally hiding the fact that Japan's system of military sex slavery (the so-called "comfort women") was, in fact, wartime sexual violence that amounted to a crime against humanity, even though this was supposed to be the program's theme.

A woman who had appeared in the program filed a complaint to the Broadcast, Human Rights, and Other Related Rights Organizations (BRC) to claim that the most important part of her testimony had been altered. The BRC has so far judged that the program was altered excessively.

The Women's International War Crime Tribunal" is a tribunal organized by the citizens' group VAWW-NET Japan, highlighting sexual violence (which includes forced labor as sex slaves for the former Japanese Army during WWII) and insisting that the Emperor Showa and the Japanese government must be held responsible. (end)

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