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.