Protesters decry “hate speech” on Tokyo MX television program

Protesters decry “hate speech” on Tokyo MX television program

Protesters object to content on the Tokyo MX television program “News Girls” on the morning of January 12 in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Television Broadcasting Corporation (Tokyo MX) in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

January 12, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

(Tokyo) On January 2, Tokyo MX, a local Tokyo television station, aired an episode of its program “News Girls” in which it attacked protesters opposed to the construction of helipads in the northern part of Okinawa Island, calling them terrorists. On the morning of January 12, Tokyo residents and others held a protest demonstration in front of the Tokyo MX building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. Mari Kawana, a freelance magazine editor, used SNS to call on people to join the protest, and seventeen people joined, saying that the program constituted hate speech and that the broadcaster should apologize, correct the mistake and air a program investigating the actual facts.

Kawana addressed the crowd with a microphone, saying, “It’s unbelievable to say that the sit-in protesters [in Okinawa] are getting paid to be there. It is a huge problem that public air waves were used to broadcast these lies.” She added, “[the program] ridiculed a struggle for human dignity. It is hate speech. It is we, in mainland Japan, who force Okinawa to host the bases. I want [the broadcaster] to realize that.”

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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