In twenty-first century Japan there are numerous instances of media harassment, intimidation, censorship and self-censorship that undermine the freedom of the press and influence how the news is reported. Since Abe returned to power in 2012, the recrudescence of nationalism under his leadership has emboldened right-wing activists and organizations targeting liberal media outlets, journalists, peace museums and ethnic Korean residents in Japan. This ongoing culture war involves the media, school textbooks, constitutional revision, pacifism and security doctrine.

This text is divided into five sections that cover:

  • Politics of press freedom;
  • The legal landscape;
  • History and culture;
  • Marginalization;
  • PR, public diplomacy and manipulating opinion.

Press Freedom in Contemporary Japan brings together contributions from an international and interdisciplinary line-up of academics and journalists intimately familiar with the current climate, in order to discuss and evaluate these issues and explore potential future outcomes. It is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand contemporary Japan and the politics of freedom of expression and transparency in the Abe era. It will appeal to students, academics, Japan specialists, journalists, legal scholars, historians, political scientists, sociologists, and those engaged in human rights, media studies and Asian Studies.

chapter |14 pages

Introduction: press freedom in contemporary Japan

ByJeff Kingston

part |2 pages

Part I The politics of press freedom

chapter 1|13 pages

Media muzzling under the Abe administration

ByAurelia George Mulgan

chapter 2|10 pages

The right-wing media and the rise of illiberal politics in Japan

ByKoichi Nakano

chapter 5|12 pages

NHK: the changing and unchanged politics of semi-independence

ByEllis S. Krauss

chapter 6|15 pages

Abe and press oppression: guilty, not guilty or not proven?

ByMichael Thomas Cucek

part |2 pages

Part II Legal landscape

chapter 7|17 pages

Chilling effects on news reporting in Japan’s “anonymous society”

ByLawrence Repeta, Yasuomi Sawa

chapter 8|9 pages

Japan’s designated secrets law

ByArthur Stockwin

chapter 9|14 pages

State secrets and freedom of the press in Japan

ByKenta Yamada

part |2 pages

Part III History and culture wars

chapter 10|17 pages

Press freedom under fire: “comfort women,” the Asahi affair and Uemura Takashi

Byaffair and Uemura Takashi Tomomi Yamaguchi

chapter 13|14 pages

NHK, war-related television, and the politics of fairness

ByPhilip Seaton

chapter 14|9 pages

Pointing the bone: a personal account of media repression in Japan

ByGregory Clark

chapter 15|16 pages

Tabloid nationalism and racialism in Japan

ByMark Schreiber, William Wetherall

part |2 pages

Part IV Marginalization

chapter 17|13 pages

Media side-lines the sit-in protest in Takae, Okinawa

ByAkihiro Ogawa

chapter 18|11 pages

A historical perspective on press freedom in Okinawa

ByHideko Yoshimoto

part |2 pages

Part V PR, public diplomacy and manipulating opinion

chapter 19|19 pages

Spin over substance? The PR strategies of Vladimir Putin and Abe Shinzo

ByAbe Shinzo Tina Burrett

chapter 21|24 pages

The Japan Lobby, press freedom and public diplomacy

ByJeff Kingston