Defending the government’s involvement in giving lawmakers an advance screening of a documentary on Yasukuni Shrine, a senior Cultural Affairs Agency official argued Monday it was appropriate to show Diet members a film partially funded by taxpayers’ money.

His remarks immediately drew criticism from labor unions in the film industry. The National Confederation of Trade Unions and the Federation of Cinema and Theatrical Workers Union of Japan said the agency’s involvement in holding the March 12 preview of “Yasukuni” was effectively a form of “precensorship.”

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