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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 January 5 - 11  > Yomiuri Shimbun faces protest from journalists opposing its intent to align with Osaka gov't ruled by ultra-hawkish political party
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2022 January 5 - 11 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Yomiuri Shimbun faces protest from journalists opposing its intent to align with Osaka gov't ruled by ultra-hawkish political party

January 6, 2021
In protest against a comprehensive partnership agreement signed on December 27, 2021 between The Yomiuri Shimbun Osaka and the Osaka prefectural government in eight fields including provision of information, a group of journalists on the same day published a statement to demand the immediate termination of the partnership agreement.

As of 6 p.m. on January 5, more than 48,000 journalists, including former Yomiuri Shimbun reporter Otani Akihiro, scholars, lawyers, former presidents of the Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers' Unions, and business persons who include executive officer of the Japanese Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) Okutani Reiko have announced their support to the statement.

The statement points out that "the integration" of the power which gives interviews and the press which collects information "will undermine the people's right to know and will endanger democracy".

The statement notes that "maintaining distance from power" has guaranteed the fairness of postwar journalism, warning that The Yomiuri Shimbun "can end up as just a publicist giving out information from the perspective of power" if it misjudges the distance and loses its independence.

The Osaka prefectural government is a local government under the strong influence of a super-hawkish political party, the "Nippon Ishin no Kai". The statement expresses concern about the possibility that the Yomiuri-Osaka partnership agreement "may set a negative precedence and spread across the country".

The "code of ethics" of the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association to which The Yomiuri Shimbun itself belongs stipulates that "only after the media is independent from any powers can people's right to be informed be guaranteed. The statement calls into question the compliance with this code of ethics.

The statement points out that the "foundation of news media's existence is public trust, not public authority" and calls on The Yomiuri Shimbun to go back to the starting point as a news medium.
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