I was disturbed but not surprised to read in the Jan. 27 front-page article “NHK chief gets with the program” that the new chairman of NHK (Japan’s national broadcaster), Katsuto Momii [appointed to the position by the NHK Board of Governors after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had packed the board], states that his organization will toe the government line. So now we have a government-controlled national broadcaster to add to our current ills.

Here is a list of ills from Germany of the 1930s: no free press, no free speech, state-controlled discrimination against non-Germans, state-controlled radio and film, state-controlled education, military enhancement and enlargement, a compulsory love of country and the adulation of its leader, a lack of consideration (putting it mildly!) for its neighbors (later for all of Europe). I could go on, but readers (uncomfortable as they might be by my comparison) cannot but see the similarities to the Japan of leader Abe and his cohorts.

People of Japan must open their eyes and ears (but not via NHK it seems!) to the way their country is being governed and to the road on which it seems at present to be so recklessly driving.

As for the Japanophiles, tell us now of the “beauty,” “safety” “harmony” and other such sycophantic descriptions of this Japan.

paul gaysford

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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