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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 September 26 - October 2  > Suspension of ‘Shincho 45’ magazine raises fresh question over publishers’ role in regard to LGBTQ rights
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2018 September 26 - October 2 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Suspension of ‘Shincho 45’ magazine raises fresh question over publishers’ role in regard to LGBTQ rights

September 29, 2018
Shinchosha, one of the major publishing companies in Japan, on September 25 suddenly announced that it will suspend the publication of its monthly magazine, “Shincho 45”. The magazine came under fire after running articles full of discriminatory language targeting sexual minorities. The latest announcement indicates that the company is trying to put an end to the issue without having learned any lessons from it or assessing what should be done from now on.

On the day, Ito Yukihito, Shinchosha’s director in charge of public relations, answered questions from reporters. He did not specify which expressions and articles in the Shincho 45 magazine led to the suspension. Ito said that the company will not further look into the matter and offered no apology to the LGBTQ community.

Asked by reporters whether the company intends to articulate its stance toward sexual minorities or send out its message to them, Ito replied, “It is not that simple.”Apparently in a bid to give the impression that Shinchosha has long championed the cause of human equality, he said that the company has published many literary works addressing the theme of discrimination. In particular, he cited the fact that over three decades, the company published “Hashi no nai kawa (The river without a bridge)”, a renowned seven-part novel which depicts the lives of the “lowest class” in society.

On the morning of the same day, a group of some 50 Shinchosha workers submitted to the company’s board of directors a petition demanding that the company apologize for the discriminatory articles and take measures to prevent a recurrence, according to Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Publishers’ role in promoting prejudicial views is now called into question.

Past related articles:
> Argument humiliating LGBT people has link with present government [September 23, 2018]
> Sexist LDP lawmaker should apologize or resign: JCP Koike [July 24, 2018]
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