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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 June 24 - 30  > Crush Asahi, Mainichi, Tokyo newspapers: Hyakuta
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2015 June 24 - 30 [POLITICS]

Crush Asahi, Mainichi, Tokyo newspapers: Hyakuta

June 29, 2015
Author Hyakuta Naoki, a close friend of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, posted a comment on Twitter on June 27, again encouraging reprisals against mass media critical of the war legislation sponsored by the Abe administration.

Two days before, Hyakuta delivered an address at a study meeting organized by lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. He said, “We must punish two local papers in Okinawa.” The two papers, the Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times, have been arguing against the war-related bills and the construction of a state-of-the-art U.S. base in the prefecture.

In his posted comment, the author said that his remarks on the Okinawan papers were “just a joke”. He went on to say that what he really wants is to crush the national newspapers Asahi and Mainichi, as well as another local paper, the Tokyo Shimbun.

Some people tweeted in response, “Hyakuta, do you trust only the Sankei and Yomiuri shimbuns?” Both of the papers are known for their rightist, pro-government tone.

Recommended by PM Abe, Hyakuta had served as an NHK governor until the end of February this year.

LDP lawmakers refuse to participate in TV debate on war legislation

Amid the mounting public criticism against a series of LDP legislators’ statements calling for the suppression of free speech, lawmakers from the governing parties refused to attend a TV debate on the war legislation aired on June 27.

A TV Asahi director explained in the debate program that the broadcaster asked more than 30 LDP parliamentarians to join the discussion, and some of them agreed. Right before the live show, however, all of them canceled. Dietmembers of the Komei Party, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, also declined to enter the debate for the reason that no LDP lawmakers are participating.

Journalist Tahara Soichiro, the moderator of the debate, denounced the governing parties by saying, “They are paying no heed to the general public.” He also pointed out that this clearly indicates that the controversial security bills are on the brink of a crisis.

In the televised discussion, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Toru underscored the need for opposition parties to cooperate to block the passing of the bills.
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