Monthly Archives: November 2013

Japan sinks down the press freedom tables

This is rather late news from this January, but RWB’s 2013 Press Freedom Index has interesting things to say about Japan:

Japan, demoted from 22nd to 53rd place, recorded the biggest drop of any Asian country. The reason was the ban imposed by the authorities on independent coverage of any topic related directly or indirectly to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Err, what? I’ve never heard of such a thing. There was a kerfuffle when there weren’t enough places allocated to foreign journalists for a tour of Fukushima Dai-ichi two years ago, but a ban on independent coverage of any topic? That’s a flat-out lie.

Several freelance journalists who complained that public debate was being stifled were subjected to censorship, police intimidation and judicial harassment.

It’s not as if journalists were being thrown into gulags! I do know who they are talking about here, however, but I cannot quite remember the Japanese journalist’s name.

The continued existence of the discriminatory system of “kisha clubs”, exclusive press clubs which restrict access to information to their own members, is a key element that could prevent the country from moving up the index significantly in the near future.

How is that? It was 22nd the previous year yet kisha clubs existed then too. Why suddenly pick on them as holding Japan back?

The secrets bill currently going through the upper house is, of course, a different kettle of fish.

Let’s green Fukushima with, err, coal!

I’m sure that many of you will have seen the news that Mitsubishi and TEPCO plan to build two new coal-fired IGCC power stations on the Fukushima coast.

I’m sure it’s just due to a lack of space that none of Reuters, Asahi, Japan Times and Japan Today took the opportunity to discuss the demerits of such a scheme, rather that the Nuclear Village bribing them not to show up nuclear :roll: , and I look forward to Taro Yamamoto passing another letter to the emporer to express his worries for the children near that plant, and I expect that there will be calls for Abe to explain to the Diet and IOC how they are tsunami-ready and if everything would really be Under Control and confined to a 1.3 km radius.

I’m (almost) a real bona fide journalist now!

I got an email from The Daily Journalist, and they wanted me to join their illustrious club of fellow journalists. Which was nice.