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Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura denied Tuesday that ruling party lawmakers’ actions have led cinemas not to screen a contentious documentary film on the war-related Yasukuni Shrine, and culture minister Kisaburo Tokai expressed regret over the theaters’ restraint.

The cancellations drew protests from media-related organizations on the same day in the hope of improving the situation, with one group saying the demand by lawmakers in the Liberal Democratic Party for an unprecedented preview of the film may be regarded as “political intervention.”

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