【ニッポンの新常識】 Common Knowledge Revisited 53
Disappointed at Keio Honorary Professor Kobayashi; Arguments Are Empty Theory
I heard that last month Mr. Setsu Kobayashi, a constitutional scholar and Honorary Professor at Keio University, had some critical things to say about me personally in a speech which he delivered in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. I was excited thinking I might be able to have a serious debate with a critic.
I immediately looked up the video site on YouTube and watched the speech. To state the conclusion at the outset, I was quite disappointed. There were innumerable things with which I wanted to take issue, but for the sake of orderly discourse, I will boil it down to two points.
The first point was his criticism concerning the “Association of Audiences Seeking Adherence to the Broadcast Law” of which I am a founding member. Mr. Kobayashi took issue as follows with the paid opinion advertisement which we ran in the newspaper calling upon the broadcast media to observe the provisions of Article 4 of the Broadcast Law.
(1) The Broadcast Law is only an ethical guideline.
On this point, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi testified in budget committee hearings of the Diet on February 8th that the Broadcast Law which provides for broadcasts to be “politically fair” is “not merely an ethical guideline but rather has the force of law,” and that broadcast suspension in the event of repeated violations by a broadcaster “cannot be entirely ruled out in the future.” Mr. Kobayashi must be very displeased.
(2)The paid opinion advertisement will invite post-censorship such as existed before the war.
Mr. Kobayashi argued that “Imperial Japan and the Nazis practiced both pre- and post-censorship, but after the war, Article 21(2) of the Japanese Constitution strictly prohibited censorship.” Could it be that he is not aware of the fact that immediately after the end of the war, GHQ promulgated a Press Code listing 30 subjects which were the object of thorough censorship? If he is aware of that fact but went out of his way to ignore it, then we must conclude that “his object is to control or mislead people who lack historical information.”
This censorship, which continued even after the promulgation of the Japanese Constitution, Article 21(2) until the end of the occupation, warped the Japanese media. Self-censorship for fear of violation of the Press Code spawned a Japan where pluralistic information became unavailable, and the situation persists to this day. Mr. Kobayashi’s arguments are empty theory if not grounded in historical fact.
(3)The Yomiuri Newspaper and Sankei Newspaper, who ran the paid opinion advertisement, were parties to censorship.
This is incomprehensible. The forces opposed to the paid opinion advertisement are themselves putting pressure on the newspapers and attempting to engage in blatant post-censorship to suppress opposing opinions. It is typical of leftist critics that they cannot recognize the simple self-contradictions in their own arguments.
The second point was a criticism of my argument that “the Japanese Constitution should be amended.” He seems to be objecting to allowing an American to participate in the constitutional debate, but the draft constitution itself was written in one week by a group of amateur Americans. There is no way he could not know that.
Beginning as long as 30 years ago Mr. Kobayashi openly advocated the revision of Article 9 of the constitution and the exercise of collective self-defense, but during the last few years he has taken to calling the security bills “ the war bills.”
Which countries will be most happy about the huge loss to both Japan and the U.S.?
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