It was learned on May 24 that ahead of UN special rapporteur David Kaye’s submission of his report to the UN Human Rights Council, a draft of the report was provided to the Foreign Ministry. Kaye came to Japan in April and questioned the state of the “freedom of expression” in Japan.
The government had presented its counterarguments to correct factual inaccuracies, but they were mostly not reflected in the report, which criticizes “pressure from the government and the ruling parties on members of the media.” The government will continue to refute the report to prevent misconceptions from spreading in the international community.
When Kaye was in Japan, he interviewed certain journalists and NGO officials. He later said at a news conference: “The media’s independence is facing a serious threat,” and “The comfort women issue was removed from textbooks, indicating a political intent.”
It is highly possible that he was influenced by biased opinions of NGO officials and others. The government asserted that he was also mistaken about “the issue of the definition of special state secrets under the state secrets protection law” and about “excessive use of state power on activists opposing U.S. military bases in Okinawa.”
The government says: “We have done our best to explain, but there has been no improvement (in the draft).” It will continue to refute the report and call for posting the Japanese government’s opinion along with Kaye’s report on the UN Human Rights Council’s website.