NHK Found Guilty of Censoring Women's Tribunal
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In a closely watched court-case, the Tokyo High Court found the public broadcaster had bowed to political pressure and distorted a program about the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery, in which the late emperor Hirohito had been found guilty of crimes against humanity.
The suit concerned Japan's public broadcaster NHKs last minute changes to a program about The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery, in which the late emperor Hirohito was found guilty of crimes against humanity. The Tokyo High Court sentenced NHK to a 20mio yen fine for infringing on the rights of VAWW-net, an NGO that had contributed to the program. The court also noted that attacks from right-wing groups and the utterances of politicians had lead to the edits. NHK maintains the edits were justified in making the program 'more balanced' and vows to appeal. Now-prime minister Shinzo Abe maintains the verdict clears him of accusations of censorship. However, the court found proof that he and other politicians had made 'general comments' which NHK took into account 'more than necessary.' VAWW-net had hoped the trial would bring this to light. Otherwise, the NGO argued, it would become taboo to even discuss the sexual slavery issue and thus prevent healing and reconciliation.
While there is growing discontent with the public broadcasters' growing cow towing to the government, and its misrepresentation of sexual war crimes and Japanese colonial responsibility, no-one questions the commercial broadcasters failure to approach the issue…