Tokyo MX asks journalist Yoshioka to cover Okinawa base issues after News Joshi controversy

Tokyo MX asks journalist Yoshioka to cover Okinawa base issues after News Joshi controversy

Koh Yoshioka

June 4, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

Tokyo Metropolitan Television Broadcasting Corporation (Tokyo MX) has faced controversy since the January 2 airing of a segment of its program “News Joshi” (News Girls), due to content such as Okinawa’s anti-base movement proponents being likened to terrorists. Tokyo MX asked 72-year-old journalist Koh Yoshioka to produce a new segment on the topic, which has been in preparation since late May and will include background on the Okinawa anti-base movement.

In response to Ryukyu Shimpo, Tokyo MX stated that it aims to produce a program that conveys the current circumstances in Okinawa by equally featuring those on each side of the Okinawa base issues topic. It was also revealed that the intended airdate is between July and September this year.

On June 2, Tokyo MX asserted that the content of News Joshi is not something that can be refuted altogether, and clarified that the program containing new coverage by Yoshioka is not meant to act as a correction of the original News Joshi segment.

Koh Yoshioka was born in Nagano Prefecture, and lived in Okinawa from 1988 to 1972. During his time in Okinawa Yoshioka worked as a freelance photographer, covering events such as the Koza Riot and witnessing the state of affairs in Okinawa before and after its reversion to Japanese sovereignty. Yoshioka has also covered Okinawa base issues as director of TV Asahi’s “News Station” and TBS’s “Hodo Tokushu.”

Also on June 2, Tokyo MX explained that Yoshioka is a suitable producer of the new segment, as it is essential to convey the disparate views of history between Okinawa and mainland Japan in order to impart why the anti-base movement has developed.

Yoshioka says that people in mainland Japan do not grasp why Okinawa base issues are such a serious topic, and superficially criticize the anti-base movement on the internet and elsewhere without understanding the history of Okinawa.

The upcoming program is planned to set out Okinawan history since its time as the Ryukyu Kingdom, and present interviews with about ten people on each side of the topic from university professors to persons involved in military incidents and accidents.

On June 3, Yoshioka visited the gate to Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City, and interviewed local residents who oppose the construction of Futenma’s replacement facility there.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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