For people concerned with the weakening of press freedoms under the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, its criticism of the liberal Asahi Shimbun and the new state secrets law, there should still be a sense of relief that media suppression in Japan has not quite reached the levels now being seen in South Korea.

Like Japan, South Korea is currently governed by a decidedly conservative regime — that of President Park Geun-hye and her Saenuri Party, known until early 2012 as the Grand National Party.

As highlighted in the ongoing defamation trial of the former Seoul bureau chief of the right-leaning Sankei Shimbun, Park has shown intolerance toward public criticism of her government. Her administration is apparently determined to intimidate or even entirely shut down those media outlets that have persistently opposed official policies.