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Chief Editors of 2 Okinawa Papers Slam Anti-Media Remarks

Chief Editors of 2 Okinawa Papers Slam Anti-Media Remarks

   Tokyo, July 2 (Jiji Press)--The editors-in-chief of two newspapers in Okinawa Prefecture reiterated their protest Thursday against recent media-bullying remarks made at a study meeting of junior lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
   Last Friday, the chief editors of the two newspapers, the Okinawa Times and the Ryukyu Shimpo, issued a joint protest statement, after novelist Naoki Hyakuta, as a guest speaker, said at the June 25 LDP meeting that the two Okinawa papers critical of the government should be abolished.
   Also at the meeting, Hideo Onishi, an LDP lawmaker, said that the best way to punish the media is to cut their advertising revenue. He also proposed asking the Japan Business Federation, the nation's biggest business lobby, known as Keidanren, to cooperate for that purpose.
   These remarks "suggest the view that media organizations critical of the government should be driven into financial trouble and deprived of freedom of speech," Yoshikazu Shiohira, chief editor of the Ryukyu Shimpo said at Thursday's press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. "That's exactly what suppression of free speech means," he said.
   Shiohira also stressed that the remarks pose a challenge against free speech and expression. "This issue must not be considered as only concerning the two Okinawa newspapers," he said.

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