The nation's press freedom ranking in 2018 slightly increased from the previous year, primarily the result of worsening conditions in other democracies, Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday.

The international watchdog group, which measures the degree of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries, ranked Japan at 67th — up five notches from last year — just behind El Salvador and ahead of Lesotho.

"The better ranking for Japan comes for a big part of the weakening of other democracies in the world and also from the fact that 2018 was relatively calm and that we received fewer alerts from Japan," said Cedric Alviani, the watchdog's East Asia bureau director.