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2014 February 12 - 18 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Journalists’ group demands resignation of NHK top officials

February 11, 2014
The Japan Congress of Journalists (JCJ) on February 7 issued a statement demanding the resignation of public broadcaster NHK President Momii Katsuto and members of the NHK management committee Hyakuta Naoki and Hasegawa Michiko.

The statement cites Momii’s remarks that military prostitution like the Imperial Japan’s “comfort women” system was common to all countries in wartime and that NHK could not say it is “left” when the government says it is “right”. “Momii not only shows very little understanding of the media’s role but also has no compunction violating the broadcast law which calls for broadcasters’ political neutrality. He is unqualified to be the president of the public broadcaster,” it stresses.

The JCJ in the statement also referred to the fact that the management committee member Hyakuta Naoki in his speech in support of a far-right candidate during the Tokyo gubernatorial election campaign said, “The Nanjing Massacre did not occur,” and that another member Hasegawa Michiko gave the eulogy for a right-wing activist who committed suicide at the Asahi Shimbun Headquarters building. Such statements and actions undermine NHK’s independence and its reputation as a public broadcaster, the statement points out.

The journalists’ group added that the responsibility of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo for choosing these people to be on the board of directors should be called into question.

The New Japan Women’s Association (Shinfujin) on February 6 sent a statement to the prime minister, urging him to remove Hyakuta Naoki and Hasegawa Michiko from the NHK Board of Governors.

Past related article
> Public anger growing at NHK president’s remarks [January 28, 2014]
> NHK chair justifies Japan’s wartime sex slavery system [January 26, 2014]
> Writer on NHK managing board: Send Article 9 supporters to the war front [November 16, 2013]
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