Friday, October 09, 2009

Press freedom: great step forward of DPJ Okada

Katsuya OKADA, Japan Foreign Affairs Minister of the new
DPJ administration greeted by 200 members of the Foreign
Correspondents' Club of Japan for his open door policy
of his ministry to the press ending the Kisha Club privilege.
A fluo green frog color Press Club's T Shirt was offered to
Minister OKADA with a 1 year Press Club Honorary

Mainichi reporting, quotes:

"Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada was true to his word; he
opened up press briefings at the Foreign Ministry to all
media outlets, domestic and foreign, as he had earlier
promised. About 30 foreign correspondents and other
reporters not belonging to press clubs were among those who
attended a press conference at the ministry on Sept 30
thanks to the new open-door policy. Prior to the briefing,
Okada announced that he decided to open press conferences at
the ministry to all media representatives in principle.

Although Okada had made a similar announcement on Sept. 18,
he had withheld the implementation of the new policy, saying
that he needed to consult with the ministry's press club.
"Since it has been a while (since the Sept. 18
announcement), I have decided to open (press briefings to all
media outlets) from now on," Okada said on Tuesday.

To this day, reporters eligible to attend the ministry's
briefings include members holders of the Foreign Press
registration Card delivered by Foreign Affairs Ministry, of
the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association; the
National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan; the
Japan Magazine Publishers Association; the Internet News
Association of Japan; and the Foreign Correspondents' Club of

In addition, holders of the Foreign Press Registration Card
(the accredited press) and freelance journalists are also
allowed access to the ministry briefings. Reporters who wish
to attend the press conferences are required to sign up in
advance through the ministry's Web site."

✍ Other issues to come on this subject as foreign media often
suffer from refusal from some Japanese public or private
institutions and we hope to see an end to the preferential
practice of dissemination of news through the existence of
bodies that run contrary to the idea of the free flow of

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