What do dolphins, David Bowie and The Economist have in common? Freedom. Dolphins seek freedom. Bowie, who loved Japan and Japan loved him, represents the freedom to express yourself. Bowie gave permission for his song "Heroes" to be used in the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove," about the dolphin hunt in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture.
The Economist is in search of more freedom, especially in Japan's political landscape. The Economist Democracy Index 2015 demoted Japan from a full democracy to a flawed democracy, along with Costa Rica, South Korea and France. The report from the Economist Intelligence Institute cites "Japan's increasing media censorship" since the State Secrets Law went into effect December 2014 and "evidence of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) pressuring firms to withhold advertising in unfavored publications, were enough to push the country's score below the 8.00 threshold, meaning that the country is now classified in our Democracy Index as a 'flawed democracy.' "
British understatement represents this media censorship as rationale for Japan's democracy decline. The Japanese government seems at times afraid of its own global relations shadow, or the shadow of any dissenting point of view.