The threat from Shinzo Abe

Media freedom in Japan has been declining ever since Shinzo Abe became Prime Minister again in 2012. What with controversial dismissals and resignations, growing self-censorship within the leading media groups and a system of “kisha clubs” (reporters’ clubs) that discriminate against freelancers and foreign reporters, journalists have difficulty serving the public interest and fulfilling their role as democracy’s watchdogs. Many journalists, both local and foreign, are harassed by government officials, who do not hide their hostility towards the media. Members of nationalist groups on social media also intimidate and harass journalists who dare to question the government or tackle “controversial” subjects. Despite UN protests, the government continues to refuse any debate about a law protecting “Specially Designated Secrets,” under which whistleblowers, journalists, and bloggers face up to ten years in prison if convicted of publishing information obtained “illegally.”

in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index



72 in 2016

Global score


28.67 in 2016

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2017
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2017
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2017
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