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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 15 - 21  > Shii: Summoning of TV company execs by LDP threatens freedom of expression in broadcasting
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2015 April 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Shii: Summoning of TV company execs by LDP threatens freedom of expression in broadcasting

April 16&17, 2015
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on April 16 said to reporters that the Liberal Democratic Party’s plan to summon two major TV companies’ officials for a hearing on their news programs amounts to threatening freedom of expression in broadcasting.

The LDP will call executives of TV Asahi and NHK into an LDP meeting on information and communications strategies on April 17 in order to made enquiries about the latest controversies caused by their news shows.

One controversy involves the TV Asahi “Hodo Station” program. On the program aired on March 27, Koga Shigeaki, commentator and former bureaucrat of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said that he had “received veiled threats” from people in power like Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide.

The other involves the NHK “Close-up Gendai” program. The public broadcaster is facing allegations that the program included fabricated stories.

Asked by reporters, the JCP chair pointed out that as the ruling party and the largest political force in both houses in the Diet, the LDP’s move is tantamount to threatening the freedom of broadcasting and amounts to political interference in media. “Taking into account the possible chilling effects on journalism, the LDP should refrain from adopting such behavior,” Shii added.

Past related articles:
> NHK refuses to air comedians’ political jokes [January 15, 2015]
> Japan’s media bathed in ‘Abe color’ [May 11, 2014]
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