Today, the Broadcasting Ethics and Programming Verification Organization (BPO) issued an opinion that there was a “serious violation of broadcasting ethics” with regard to the NHK BS1 special “Kawase Naomi’s Vision of the Tokyo Olympics” broadcast on December 26, 2011. We commend the BPO for finding a serious violation of broadcasting ethics, and for not trivializing the issue to a mere subtitling problem, but for noting that the broadcast gave the impression that the protesters were people without initiative who were mobilized for money, and that the content was damaging to the anti-Olympics demonstrations and to demonstrations in general. NHK should take its “violation of broadcasting ethics” seriously, as it tried to end the report with a formal apology and a report that reduced the issue to a mere subtitle.
As members of the anti-Olympic and Paralympic movements who have been wronged by this program, we also feel that the opinion piece is inadequate. We would like to point out the following points in our opinion. 1.
Since the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were held “amidst a split in public opinion” (Opinion “Conclusion”), the question was how much the program should properly reflect the voices of Olympics critics. The program was composed in accordance with the story of Kakuei Shimada, who claimed to be on the “pro-opposition side” and a “truly troubled opposition faction,” and as a result, the program was broadcast with content that was not true.
The opinion report acknowledges that the program was edited by replacing a statement about another demonstration with a demonstration against the Olympics, which is clearly a “fabrication. At the press conference, a reporter mentioned this point, and the committee members are heard to have explained that although the act could be described as half-authentication, there was no malicious intent and it was considered to be gross negligence. As a documentary program, broadcasting something as if it were true when it is not, regardless of whether there is malicious intent or not, constitutes fabrication. It is questionable why they could not clearly state that it was a fabrication. 3.
Regarding the oversight of the scene in question, the opinion points out that the reason for this is the “lack of interest” in demonstrations and social movements on the part of NHK staff. We find it difficult to accept the lack of recognition that NHK’s bias and negative values toward the demonstrations were at the root of the falsified report. We believe that this prejudice was shared by Naomi Kawase and Kakuei Shimada.
The current situation is outrageous, with daily news reports of bribery in connection with the Olympics, and the resignation of Yoshiro Mori, the former head of the Organizing Committee, for his “discrimination against women” comments, which led to his being questioned. In addition, former Prime Minister Abe, who invited the Olympics to Tokyo under the lie of “under control,” was later closely investigated for his involvement in a religious cult. The “money” issue in connection with the Tokyo Olympics had already begun even before the bid was submitted.
The people who promoted the Olympics as “good”: the IOC, the Organizing Committee, the JOC, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese government, and the people involved in the interests of the Olympics, including Dentsu, general contractors, and corporate sponsors, such as Naomi Kawase, Kakuei Shimada, and the people who created the NHK program. Even if we assume that the program staff has “little interest” in social movements, we, as broadcasters, should not lose our determination to get to the bottom of things.
NHK must sincerely reflect on its actions and apologize for its human rights violations against the opposition movement. The IOC, the Japanese government, and the Organizing Committee must reveal the truth! We don’t want the Olympics or Paralympics anywhere!
September 9, 2022
Olympic Disaster” Liaison Group
This English translation was made by machine translation. The Japanese original can be found here.