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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 18 - 24  > Akahata wins journalism award for revelation of Japan’s objection to US nuclear disarmament plan
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2018 July 18 - 24 [JCP]

Akahata wins journalism award for revelation of Japan’s objection to US nuclear disarmament plan

July 18, 2018

The daily Akahata has won an award for outstanding journalism in the revelation that the Japanese government objected to the U.S. Obama government policy shift to nuclear disarmament and made a favorable response to the U.S. suggestion about the bringing-in of nuclear weapons to Okinawa.

The Japan Congress of Journalists, representing about 800 journalists in Japan, on July 17 announced the winners of the 61st JCJ Award.

The award-winning stories made front-page headlines of the daily Akahata dated March 4 and 5, 2018. They were written based on documents regarding hearings held in February 2009 by the U.S. Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States which was established in preparation for the Obama administration’s nuclear posture review. Akahata exclusively obtained the documents.

Akahata on March 4 reported that in the hearings, the then Japanese Embassy’s Political Counselor Akiba Takeo (currently Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs) was asked about the U.S. plan to retire the Tomahawk land attack nuclear missile from service. Akiba called for the deployment of another system to replace the Tomahawk missile system. He also pointed to the need to update aging nuclear warheads. Akahata on the following day ran an article revealing that Akiba made a remark in favor of the U.S. proposal to construct a nuclear storage site in Okinawa.

The JCJ in giving the reasons for awarding the daily Akahata explained, “Using the U.S. documents, Akahata turned the spotlight onto the fact that although Japan is the only A-bombed nation having three Nonnuclear Principles, it played a great role in blocking the Obama administration’s path to work to create a ‘world without nuclear weapons’.” The journalists’ association also said, “The Akahata reports were cited by other media outlets, such as Okinawa’s two major dailies, Kyodo, and Jiji. Furthermore, in the Diet, in addition to the Japanese Communist Party, other opposition parties brought up the Akahata articles.”

Along with the daily Akahata, those who received a JCJ award were the Asahi Shimbun, the Okinawa Times, Nippon Television Network, and Koubunken (publisher).

In the past, Sunday Akahata won the JCJ award in 2014 for a series of articles which shed light on the issue of “black corporations”.

Past related articles:
> JCP Inoue urges gov’t to disclose documents concerning ‘nuclear storage site in Okinawa’ remark [March 27, 2018]
> Ex-US official: the memo on N-deployment in Okinawa is genuine [March 15, 2018]
> Japan’s high-ranking diplomat agreed to US proposal on nuclear facility construction in Okinawa [March 5, 2018]
> Japan expected Obama administration to maintain and enhance US nuclear capability [March 4, 2018]
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