Asia

Japanese journalists allege government pressure on media

  • Japanese journalists, from left, Osamu Aoki, Akihiro Otani, Shigetada Kishii, Soichiro Tahara and Shuntaro Torigoe, pose for a photo before their press conference at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, Thursday, March 24, 2016. A group of five journalists accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government Thursday of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies, but also lamented what they called a failure by the media to live up to its convictions. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

    Japanese journalists, from left, Osamu Aoki, Akihiro Otani, Shigetada Kishii, Soichiro Tahara and Shuntaro Torigoe, pose for a photo before their press conference at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, Thursday, March 24, 2016. A group of five journalists accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government Thursday of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies, but also lamented what they called a failure by the media to live up to its convictions. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)  (The Associated Press)

  • Journalists, Soichiro Tahara, left, and Shuntaro Torigoe, attend a press conference at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, Thursday, March 24, 2016. Tahara, Torigoe and three other Japanese journalists accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government Thursday of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies, but also lamented what they called a failure by the media to live up to its convictions. They spoke at the news conference after the minister of communications warned broadcasters last month that their licenses could be revoked if they fail to be impartial in political coverage. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

    Journalists, Soichiro Tahara, left, and Shuntaro Torigoe, attend a press conference at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, Thursday, March 24, 2016. Tahara, Torigoe and three other Japanese journalists accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government Thursday of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies, but also lamented what they called a failure by the media to live up to its convictions. They spoke at the news conference after the minister of communications warned broadcasters last month that their licenses could be revoked if they fail to be impartial in political coverage. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)  (The Associated Press)

  • Journalist Shigetada Kishii speaks during a press conference at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, Thursday, March 24, 2016. Kishii and four other Japanese journalists accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government Thursday of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies, but also lamented what they called a failure by the media to live up to its convictions. They spoke at a news conference after the minister of communications warned broadcasters last month that their licenses could be revoked if they fail to be impartial in political coverage. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

    Journalist Shigetada Kishii speaks during a press conference at Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, Thursday, March 24, 2016. Kishii and four other Japanese journalists accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government Thursday of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies, but also lamented what they called a failure by the media to live up to its convictions. They spoke at a news conference after the minister of communications warned broadcasters last month that their licenses could be revoked if they fail to be impartial in political coverage. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)  (The Associated Press)

A group of five Japanese journalists has accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government of pressuring broadcasters to reduce criticism of its policies, but also lamented what they called a failure by the media to live up to its convictions.

They spoke at a news conference Thursday after the minister of communications warned broadcasters last month that their licenses could be revoked if they fail to be impartial in political coverage.

Shuntaro Torigoe, one of the five, said that instead of the media watching the government, the government now watches the media to steer public opinion in its favor.

The resignation of three outspoken newscasters this month has prompted speculation of government interference as it attempts to build public support for controversial policies, such as a broadening of Japan's military role.