Recent calls from the younger ranks of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party to "punish" media critical of the government's contentious national security bills have sparked an industry outcry, providing ammunition to the opposition and even raising the eyebrows of veteran ruling party lawmakers.

During Thursday's gathering of a group of young LDP lawmakers close to Abe, attendees bashed media organizations for criticizing the security legislation being debated in the Diet, saying an effective way to "punish those media is to take out their ad revenues."

To quell the situation, Abe on Friday expressed regret over the alleged remarks.