Takaichi Says Documents on Broadcasters' Impartiality "Fabricated"
Tokyo, March 3 (Jiji Press)--Economic security minister Sanae Takaichi challenged Friday what are claimed to be internal documents showing how the administration of then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pressured bureaucrats to change the legal interpretation on political impartiality for broadcasters.
"I really doubt the credibility of the documents. They're totally fabricated," Takaichi said in response to questions from Hiroyuki Konishi of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan at a Budget Committee meeting in the House of Councillors, the upper parliamentary chamber.
When Konishi asked Takaichi if she would resign as a cabinet minister and lawmaker if the documents were found to be authentic, she said, "Very well." Takaichi was communications minister at that time.
The government previously assessed all the programs of a broadcaster to determine whether it was politically biased. But the ministry introduced in 2016 an additional interpretation that a single program would be enough to judge political impartiality in some cases.
At a press conference on Thursday, Konishi unveiled allegedly internal documents from a time when late Abe was prime minister showing how the prime minister's office intimidated the ministry side to change the interpretation of the broadcasting law as for broadcasters' political fairness.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]