The story “Debate over free speech reignited” in the Nov. 10 edition attributed the high degree of Japanese self-censorship to, among other things, “a cultural penchant for avoiding conflicts.”

But does that explain the almost total lack of satire, political and otherwise, in this country? Why is there nothing equivalent to Private Eye (U.K.), The Onion (U.S.) or “Canard Enchaine” (France), or the almost nightly comedy shows in the U.S.?

We all know that, rightly or wrongly, matters relating to World War II are still extremely sensitive, but there are surely other aspects of life in Japan that deserve to have fun poked at them. The world’s most ridiculous tax giveaway, the furusato nōzei scheme, would be a very good place to start.


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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