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Top NHK officials' provocations on history spark domestic criticism

English.news.cn   2014-02-13 13:13:49

TOKYO, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Provocative statements of top NHK officials on Japan's invasion history in the 1930s and 1940s have sparked widespread criticism and public anger in the island country.

The new NHK Chairman Katsuto Momii told a news conference on Jan. 25 that "comfort women" -- an euphemism for women forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels -- were common in countries at war at that time, and that media "cannot say left when the government says right."

The NHK leadership further fueled the situation as Naoki Hyakuta, a novelist and member of NHK's decision-making body, said earlier this month that the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China had never happened, adding that the United States sought to cover up its own "crimes" such as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by holding trials of Japan's war-time leaders.

It's considerably rare for top NHK officials to throw a barrage of questionable statements, which would arouse immeasurable negative impact on Japanese diplomacy, said Katsumasa Suzuki, secretary general of the People's Life Party.

However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took an evasive attitude in a parliament debate the same day Hyakuta made the statement, saying Hyakuta's speech reflected his personal views, which he refused to comment on.

Such a stance was not satisfactory to house members. Hiroshi Ogushi, lower house member of the opposition Democratic Party, urged Abe to agree to ask Hyakuta to face questioning in parliament.

The Japan Congress of Journalists (JCJ) also made a statement on Feb. 10, demanding Momii and Hyakuta resign from their posts.

As for Momii, JCJ said his recent remarks, based on false historical understandings, negated NHK's role as a media outlet and disqualified him as the chief of a public broadcaster.

JCJ also lashed out at Hyakuta's denial of Nanjing Massacre, which it said distorted the historical facts and deprived NHK of its public credibility.

Abe and his cabinet should be held accountable for Hyakuta's NHK nomination, which indicated Abe's intention to turn the media into a government mouthpiece, said JCJ.

Related:

Abe urged to admit wartime atrocities

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Murayama says PM should honor 1995 apology for Japan's past actions.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said on Wednesday that Japanese leader Shinzo Abe "has no choice but to honor the Murayama Statement" and urged him to be honest about Japan's wartime aggression.Full Story

Abe must follow Murayama's suit to face history: former PM

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama arrived here Tuesday for a three-day visit to South Korea, his country's past colony from 1910 to 1945. The former Cabinet chief, famous for his apology for past wartime atrocities while in office, picked the exhibition of artworks by so-called "comfort women" as his first place to visit.Full Story

Abe has no choice but to honor past wartime apology--former Japanese PM

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, known for his apology for past wartime atrocities while in office, said Wednesday that Shinzo Abe, incumbent prime minister, has no choice but to honor the Murayama Statement.Full Story

Editor: Mengjie
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