Veteran Japanese journalists have stepped up their criticism of communications minister Sanae Takaichi over her comments that the government can suspend broadcasters' operations if they air what it considers politically-biased programs.

However, during a news conference Thursday at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, the journalists also admitted the media was equally to blame for such a situation by self-censoring in fear of burning bridges with government sources.

They said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wanted to pressure the media not to run negative stories on controversial issues such as the new security laws that will take effect Tuesday.