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News Muzzling the press

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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The infamous clash between Mr Trump and CNN reporter Jim Acosta happened just two months ago: threats to ban Acosta were eventually thwarted by a court ruling. The Japanese government too has no qualms about muzzling members of the press they deem annoying. Tokyo Shimbun reporter Isoko Mochizuki repeatedly inquired about the risks of environmental contamination at a controversial construction site in Okinawa and was accused of asking 'inappropriate questions' that would 'spread misinformation'.

Japanese PM staff ‘restrict’ reporter from pressers for ‘spreading misinformation’ about environmental harm

The use of red soil as infill for marine construction projects is specifically prohibited by Okinawan law, even though the Henoko project has the direct support of the central government in Tokyo. The iron-rich red soil contaminates the surrounding seawater and is deadly to native corals. Local activists such as the Osprey Fuan Club say the infill also will likely contaminate nearby surviving coral colonies.

As a reporter, Mochizuki has long endured adversarial treatment from government officials that could be described as deliberate bullying. A Harbour Online article from early December notes that Mochizuki typically only receives 2-3 second replies from government officials during press conferences, less than the 22-second replies and explanations her colleagues at Tokyo Shimbun receive, and far less than the 81-second replies reporters at Asahi Shimbun receive on average.


Mark of Zorro

4 Oct 2012
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Curse the haters of free speech. They all have their own personal motives that amount to either greed or plain old well-intentioned but dangerous stupidity.
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