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A discussion on ‘Freedom of Expression’ with a UN official

投稿日:2017年6月4日 更新日:

 Prof. David Kaye, an American scholar is visiting Japan as the UN Special Rapporteur. Prof. Kaye was hurriedly invited to the LDP Information Committee for a discussion meeting. At the outset、I asserted Japan’s position, and then, the committee members’ discussion with him took place lively. A mutual understanding of ideas on both sides was accelerated, but ultimately what happened was that while speakers on the committee members’ side were insisting on their own opinions, Mr. Kaye was merely listening to them, and vice versa, and thus, the discussion ended in parallel.
Prof. Kaye has been investigating human rights and the political situation in Japan for the past two years, and he will complete soon a report on ‘Freedom of Expression in Japan.’ The themes of the report are generally wide-ranging and strongly political in its nature. It includes freedom of expression, the status quo of the Broadcast Act, regulations on political protest, laws and regulations on election campaigning, the offenses relating to the planning of terrorism, campaigns for the return of bases in Okinawa, and historical recognition of South Korean comfort women.
While a draft of the original report is now at the final stage, its contents still remain full of prejudice and errors, and therefore, we, members of the LDP in the Diet are really worried about it. The Japanese Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has sought the revision or removal of such parts in the contents as we pointed out in detail, however, no progress has been made. Even the Chief Cabinet Secretary has repeatedly referred to the errors and prejudice described in the draft.
Mr. Kaye says – or is evasive in saying – that since he is merely a reporter, he is not representing the UN, and all facts, large or small, have been reported. Regarding the difference of opinions, since they are presented side-by-side in the homepage, he would like to ask people to make their own judgment.
I have heard that at a gathering of left-leaning thinkers after the LDP meeting, the discussion was quite exciting.
After participating in the discussion mentioned in the above, in my opinion, the world is now in the so-called international information war. Japan has long been said to be always behind the competitors when it comes to information war. In this regard, before criticizing others, it is also important to reflect on one’s own lack of virtue. With regard to the activities for anti-Japan’s information by China and South Korea, firmly entrenched in the UN, it is the common regret and remorsefulness of members of the LDP in the Diet that such activities should have been tackled at an initial stage.

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