Asia

UN rights expert sees threats to press independence in Japan

  • U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye, center, speaks at a press conference in Tokyo Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Kaye has found “serious threats” to the independence of the press in Japan. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

    U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye, center, speaks at a press conference in Tokyo Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Kaye has found “serious threats” to the independence of the press in Japan. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye speaks at a press conference in Tokyo Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Kaye  has found “serious threats” to the independence of the press in Japan. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

    U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye speaks at a press conference in Tokyo Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Kaye has found “serious threats” to the independence of the press in Japan. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)  (The Associated Press)

A U.N. rights expert says there are "serious threats" to the independence of the press in Japan.

U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday that he found "several worrying trends" in Japan during a weeklong visit in which he interviewed journalists and government officials.

Kaye said that among his concerns is a law meant to ensure media-coverage fairness that allows the government to revoke broadcasting licenses over perceived violations.

He also said the so-called "secrets act" law, meant to protect national security and public safety, is so broad that it could obstruct people's right to know.

He urged Japanese journalists to work together to develop leverage.

The Japanese government has repeatedly said freedom of the press is protected in the country.