Corporate media executives in Japan buckle under an angered Prime Minster Shinzo Abe who had dinner with Japan’s top three media executives before their departure. This would not have happened in any other country than in Japan where large corporations dictate what is to be reported in the media. This explains too the popularity of Japan’s banal gossip magazines that have booming sales every month. There is nothing else to talk about in Japan it seems expect gossip. The fate of respected media personalities Ichiro Furutachi, Hiroko Kuniya (a “journalistic giant among pygmies“) and Shigetada Kishii, is that they were told to take a hike because of their “reputation for asking tough questions”. This was mentioned in a blog post here but now it is official, all three have been told to leave their positions in the media. This reminds me of the 1958 movie with Steve McQueen in The Blob. In the movie, Steve McQueen describes to the police what he saw: “It keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Japanese TV anchors lose their jobs amid claims of political pressure
Supporters of the three news broadcasters say prime minister had private dinners with top media executives before the departures
Many British politicians would doubtless rejoice at the news that Andrew Marr, Emily Maitlis and Andrew Neil were to leave their jobs almost simultaneously.
That is the fate that has befallen what could loosely be described as their counterparts in Japan – Ichiro Furutachi, Hiroko Kuniya and Shigetada Kishii – three respected broadcasters with a reputation for asking tough questions.
Their imminent departure from evening news programmes is not just a loss to their profession; critics say they were forced out as part of a crackdown on media dissent by an increasingly intolerant prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and his supporters.
Only last week, the internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, sent a clear message to media organisations. Broadcasters that repeatedly failed to show “fairness” in their political coverage, despite official warnings, could be taken off the air, she told MPs.
Under broadcast laws, the internal affairs minister has the power to suspend broadcasting that does not maintain political neutrality.
“This is nothing but intimidation against broadcasters,” the Japan Federation of Commercial Broadcast Workers’ Union said in a statement. “[Takaichi’s] remarks represent a glaring misinterpretation of the law and we demand that she promptly retract her remarks.”
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com
Japan is feeling the heat as the blob is on the move…