It's clear that Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) prefers its press to be tamed. In fact the LDP is now squarely in the dog house for calls within its ranks to punish media outlets that paint their policy agenda in a bad light. Their actions have put the current administration's proposed legislation aimed at unleashing Japan's self-defense forces from the restraints of the nation's "peace constitution" in dangerous peril.
Yet no matter how loud the press may bark, the LDP and Japan's current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, can always rely on the faithful loyalty of public TV broadcaster NHK. On a recent trip to Japan's southern-most prefecture of Okinawa the conservative leader was met by anything but good cheer.
"Liar! Warmonger! Go home!" My report on the unprecedented jeering of Shinzo #Abe in #Okinawa yesterday @thetimes http://t.co/2apIafx2hi— Richard Lloyd Parry (@dicklp) June 24, 2015
If you watched NHK though, you didn't even get a sniff of the story. The lack of coverage of anything that might cast a dark shadow on the administration is business as usual at NHK. The biased reporting has earned the public broadcaster the derisive moniker "Inu-HK," or NHK-9 (as in canine), from a disenchanted audience.
Japanese public TV (NHK) silent on heckling of PM Abe in Okinawa http://t.co/JEhNOs3vBH #NHK #LapDog pic.twitter.com/J7uaWDE37y— johnny cassidy (@OldYoungCassidy) June 26, 2015
Modeled after the K-9 robot from Dr. Who
Still, now that the cat's out of the bag about the LDP's designs to silence the media for bad press one can't but wonder when NHK's dog days will be over.