Press freedom in Japan is threatened and curtailed by the Abe government. It’s not an open war on the mainstream media as Trump is waging and journalists are not being killed or incarcerated as they are in many other nations, but there are other means to promote censorship and self-censorship. The ousting of prominent news anchors and pundits, an orchestrated campaign against the Asahi, discrediting of foreign correspondents and liberal commentators are just some examples of media muzzling efforts. None of the contributors argue that anything being done now is unprecedented, but veteran observers believe that under Abe there has been a more aggressive and persistent reliance on hardball tactics. The State Secrets legislation enacted in 2014 and various warnings to the media reinforce this perception. The panel will discuss these issues and looks forward to engaging the audience.
Michael Thomas Cucek
ICAS Adjunct Fellow, Adjunct Professor of politics at Temple University Japan Campus and Adjunct Professor of social science at Waseda University
Michael Thomas Cucek is an ICAS adjunct fellow, an adjunct professor of political science at Temple University Japan Campus and adjunct professor of social science at Waseda University. As a private consultant, he advises clients in the diplomatic, business and financial communities on Japanese politics and government policy. He is a former TV Asahi employee and 15 year employee of a Tokyo boutique management consultancy. A contributor to Foreign Policy, East Asia Forum, Al-Jazeera, Number 1 Shimbun and The New York Times, he is frequently invited to offer comment on Al Jazeera English, National Public Radio and Channel News Asia. He is also the regular discussant on the Web-based Japan politics talk show Tokyo on Fire!
foreign correspondent for The Irish Times, The Independent, The Economist and The Chronicle of Higher Education
David McNeill has been a foreign correspondent in Japan since 2001 and writes for The Irish Times, The Independent, The Economist and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and helps coordinate the e-journal Japanfocus.org. He previously taught at universities in Ireland, Britain and China, and currently teaches a course on media and politics at Sophia University. He is a former board member of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and co-author of Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster .
Professor of Law, Meiji University
Lawrence Repeta is a professor of law at Meiji University, an Asia-Pacific Journal associate, a director of the Japan Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Washington State Bar Association. He is author of “Limiting Fundamental Rights Protection in Japan – the Role of the Supreme Court,” in Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan, edited by Jeff Kingston (Routledge, 2014), “Reserved Seats on Japan’s Supreme Court,” (Washington University Law Review, 2011) and other writings on Japan’s constitution and legal system.
ICAS adjunct fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University
Tina Burrett is an ICAS adjunct fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, Japan. She holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from Cambridge University. Her publications include Television and Presidential Power in Putin’s Russia, Routledge, 2013 (paperback), “Russia’s Competing Nationalisms and Relations with Asia” in Asian Nationalisms Reconsidered, Jeff Kingston (Ed.), Routledge, 2015, “Abe Road: Comparing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Leadership of his First and Second Governments”, Parliamentary Affairs, 2016 and Prime Ministerial Leadership in Britain and Japan, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (forthcoming).
editor of Press Freedom in Contemporary Japan (Routledge 2017) and Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan Campus
Jeff Kingston is editor of Press Freedom in Contemporary Japan (Routledge 2017) and Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan Campus. He also edited Nationalisms in Asia Reconsidered (2016), Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan (2014) and Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis (2012), authored Nationalism in Asia: A History Since 1945 (2017) and writes Counterpoint, a weekly column for The Japan Times.