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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 September 3 - 9  > JCP requests TV stations to treat political parties impartially
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2008 September 3 - 9 [POLITICS]

JCP requests TV stations to treat political parties impartially

September 9, 2008
The Japanese Communist Party Central Committee on September 8 made representations to major TV networks based in Tokyo, requesting fair reporting of political party affairs. The following is the full text of the request:

Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo’s resignation announcement came as surprise to everyone. He is the second prime minister in a row after former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, to give up political power. This shows how the ruling party is falling apart.

The current political situation does not allow a new Liberal Democratic Party president and prime minister to run the government without a public judgment through dissolving the House of Representatives for a general election. Political developments show that moves toward the dissolution for a general election are gathering momentum.

Under these circumstances, some TV stations in their political programs are reporting on the process of the LDP election of its leader, which is an inner-party affair that allows only its members to participate in, as if it is an election that involves the general public. These programs give the ruling party airtime devoted to the theme of the LDP presidential election to explain the party stance on the possible dissolution of the House of Representatives for a general election.

With a dissolution of the House of Representatives for a general election becoming realistic, TV program MCs ask ruling party representatives questions from the viewpoint that the LDP’s internal election is part of a preliminary campaign for the next general election. Now that TV stations are broadcasting programs about the ruling party presidential election by actually focusing on the general election, all TV stations are called upon to impartially treat political parties and their representatives. It is inappropriate to program and report the internal elections of only the LDP and the DPJ because there are a vast number of people who are not supporters.

Since broadcasting is a public means of exercising democracy, the present way of reporting by TV stations is a grave breach of the public trust.

The JCP requests that:

(1) Treatment political parties must be equal and fair when reporting on them.

(2) Stations should positively consider programming debate programs with political party representatives attending in order to help TV watchers understand the features and differences of respective political parties.
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