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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 7 - 13  > TV program airing false rumors about Okinawa’s anti base protests to be taken off the air
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2018 March 7 - 13 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

TV program airing false rumors about Okinawa’s anti base protests to be taken off the air

March 7, 2018
A civil group protesting against a TV program that spread false rumors about anti base protests in Okinawa on March 6 held a press conference in Tokyo to issue a statement welcoming the recently-announced discontinuation of the program.

The program in question is a news variety show, “News Joshi”, which was broadcast by the Tokyo-based TV company, Tokyo MX. This show in January 2017 offered groundless claims such as “Activists opposing the construction of U.S. military facilities in Okinawa are paid to do so.” This program was created by a subsidiary of the cosmetic and health food company DHC, one of Tokyo MX’s major sponsors. DHC’s top executive is known for his rightist remarks and behavior.

The civil group in its statement said that it welcomes the fact that Tokyo MX recently announced its decision to discontinue the show. On the other hand, it criticized the TV station for still maintaining the claim that the program was based on fact. The group said it will continue to urge the broadcaster to publicly announce a correction and apologize to the persons concerned.

The statement acknowledges, “With the money from DHC accounting for over 10% of Tokyo MX’s advertising revenue, the decision to stop doing business with DHC must have been difficult for the TV station to make.” The statement notes that the broadcaster reached the decision probably because it listened to the Broadcast Ethics and Program Improvement Organization (BPO)’s assessment that the program contained a serious violation of broadcast ethics.

The statement also stresses that the civil group’s tenacious protests in front of the Tokyo MX head office succeeded in pushing the TV company to put an end to airing the show.

Kawana Mari, who founded the group, at the press conference said that Okinawans opposing the U.S. military facility construction still face rumors filled with hatred. She said, “Although we will stop regular protests in front of the Tokyo MX head office, we will carry out other needed actions against hate speech against anti-base movement in Okinawa.”

Past related articles:
> Broadcast ethics watchdog criticizes MX TV for airing rumor about anti-base protests in Okinawa [December 15, 2017]
> Commercial TV program slanders Okinawans opposing US base construction [January 7, 2017]
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