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The Liberal Democratic Party, evoking the Broadcast Law, last week summoned executives of NHK and TV Asahi, saying that suspicion exists that two programs broadcast by the TV stations “bent the truth.” The LDP’s action is extraordinary and constitutes political pressure on the TV broadcasters and interference in their broadcasting activities. Such an action threatens freedom of the press and expression; it must not be condoned.

NHK is accused of making up an interview with a man identified as a broker in a fraud scheme featured by the popular news analysis program Close-up Gendai last May. It has launched its own probe into the case, questioned people concerned, including the man and a reporter, and issued an interim report. It apologized for an erroneous part of the program and is still continuing its investigation.

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