(SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST) — Three respected broadcasters in Japan with a reputation for asking tough questions have lost their jobs.
The imminent departures of Ichiro Furutachi, Hiroko Kuniya and Shigetada Kishii 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.
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Under broadcast laws, the internal affairs minister has the power to suspend broadcasting that does not maintain political neutrality.