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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 16 - 29  > PM Suga pressed by RSF to turn into champion of press freedom
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2020 September 16 - 29 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

PM Suga pressed by RSF to turn into champion of press freedom

September 24, 2020

The Paris-based international NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recently published on its website an article urging that as the leader of Japan, one of the world’s leading democracies, Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide fulfill his duty to uphold the right to freedom of the press.

In the article released on September 16, the international NGO working to protect press freedom criticized PM Suga for “creating a climate of hostility towards journalists and attempting to interfere in media coverage” as his predecessor Abe’s right-hand man since 2012 when Suga was appointed to the Chief Cabinet Secretary.

In this regard, RSF cited that at his regular press briefings, Suga frequently refused to answer questions by a specific reporter by saying that he was “not required to”. RSF also referred to the fact that Suga used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to limit the number of journalists attending government press conferences.

The RSF article urges PM Suga to work to “make Japan an exemplar of press freedom again” by granting all media access to the government’s press conferences and discouraging any forms of discrimination against journalists.

RSF in April published the 2020 world press freedom ranking data that covers 180 countries and regions. In this ranking, Japan dropped to 66th place from 22nd in 2012.
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