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The government’s handling of a Tokyo Shimbun reporter known for her assertive questioning style has come under heavy scrutiny, after it emerged that authorities issued a statement last year singling her out for criticism and urging the Japanese press to keep their questions “accurate” and “fact-based.”

The statement, issued on Dec. 28 by a public relations official from the Prime Minister’s Office to a community of journalists that routinely covers the entity, has since ignited criticism that it amounts to an infringement on the freedom of press.

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