PARIS – Japan plummeted to 53rd from the previous year’s 22nd in the 2013 press freedom ranking released Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based nonprofit organization.
Japan “has been affected by a lack of transparency and almost zero respect for access to information on subjects directly or indirectly related to Fukushima,” the group said in a statement, referring to the nuclear catastrophe. “This sharp fall should sound an alarm,” it added.
Mali logged the sharpest fall for the year, to 99th from 25th, following a military coup in 2012 and after Islamist militants seized the north of the country, leading to French intervention.
The media were exposed to censorship and violence, the group said.
By contrast, Myanmar rose from 169th to 151st, reflecting progress in its democratization, and Afghanistan climbed from 150th to 128th.
The top three were Finland, the Netherlands and Norway. Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Syria remained the worst.