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Japan needs to examine broadcasting law-related papers: Kishida

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday indicated a need to examine alleged internal documents of the communications ministry on the interpretation of political impartiality under the broadcasting law.

“The communications ministry will need to carefully examine” the documents, Kishida told a Budget Committee meeting in the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of Japan’s parliament.

Under its conventional interpretation of the law, the government had evaluated all programs of a broadcaster to determine whether it is politically biased or not. During the administration of the late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the communications ministry introduced an additional interpretation that a single program would be enough to judge political impartiality in some cases. The alleged internal documents show how the prime minister’s office applied pressure on the ministry regarding the supplementary interpretation.

Michihiro Ishibashi of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan asked for parliament to summon Yosuke Isozaki, who served as adviser to Abe while he was prime minister.

Isozaki has admitted that, while in office, he pushed the communications ministry regarding the interpretation of political impartiality for programs. Nippon

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