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Suspicious death of Japanese TV environmentalist/journalist

The recent suspicious death of investigative Japanese TV journalist Masaki Iwaji, the only Japanese TV director working on Fukushima issues, who managed to get Fukushima humanitarian and corruption issues onto national TV, must be viewed in the light of recent actions taken by Japanese government.

Iwaji was found dead on Sept. 29th 2013. Although there are rumors that it was suicide, there is also wide spread speculation that it was not.

As Quora recently stated, the government and mass media in Japan are very powerful and effective. The government has a long reach. It has powerful motive to silence those who disagree with what it promulgates. And it has recently passed a sort of anti-FOIA act to enforce this silencing of the media.

State Secrets Legislation

Japan recently passed legislation making it illegal for public servants to disclose information on prescribed matters related to government and security. This legislation was widely regarded as having a negative effect on press freedom.

Under the law, public servants are prohibited from disclosing information on 23 prescribed subjects (e.g. defense, diplomacy, counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism).

Penalties

Public servants who infringe the legislation could be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Journalists could be imprisoned for up to 5 years for soliciting information inappropriately.

Iwaji was found dead on Sept. 29th. Although there are rumors that it was suicide, there is also wide spread speculation that it was not.

When journalist Iwaji was found dead his colleagues were chilled by the thought that his death might well have something to do with this legislation

Interview, Beverly Findlay Kaneko.

This story is based upon an Interview conducted with Beverly Findlay Kaneko, evacuee from Yokohama, Japan, for ENENews. ENENews has been termed “a great source news aggregator of Fukushima radiation” which is routinely cited by beforeitsnews.com, nuclearhotseat.com, japansafety.wordpress.com, and infiniteunknown.net/tag/masaki-iwaji.

Ms. Findlay Kaneko was a close personal friend of Masaki Iwaji’s. Her testimony implies that Iwaji was killed to silence his reportage on Fukushima. She does not name names but the inference is that it was an entity with a very long reach, able to physically attack him in the street, burglarize his apartment, and force sleeping pills on him and seal the apartment until he suffocated..

Hodo Station and Iwaji

Interviewee Findlay-Kaneko said that Iwaji’s program, ‘Hodo Station’, was a very popular nightly news program which she would equate to‘60 Minutes’. It has come under a lot of fire for its connection with Iwaji.. The popular main anchor, [Ichiro] Furutachi has also been rumored to be in danger of losing his job for allowing Fukushima issues to be covered. Findlay Kaneko has called the situation “very frightening.

Interview with Beverly Findlay Kaneko, evacuee from Yokohama, Japan, Social Uplift, published Sept. 14, 2014, reports for Enenews.. Segments from Interview w/ Mrs. Kaneko, Nuclear Hotseat w/ Libbe HaLevy, Sept. 14, 2014

5:00 in — Mrs. Kaneko said that Iwaji-san has been the only journalist tackling the Fukushima issue in primetime news. He was solely responsible for this year’s 3/11 ‘Hodo Station’ Fukushima coverage.

12:00 in – She said that Iwaji was found dead in the middle of the brutal summer heat… it was carbon monoxide poisoning. He had apparently taken sleeping pills; lit a cold briquette, taped off the doors of a bedroom, and suffocated.

12:45 in —An acquaintance of freelance reporter Yasushi Nishimuta wrote about the circumstances surrounding Iwaji’s death. On August 27th, when Nishimuta and Iwaji met, the reporter said that Iwaji was his old self and he was planning to start tackling the Fukushima issue again in September.

On the 28th, Iwaji called the TV station saying he didn’t feel well and he wouldn’t be in. Reportedly his speech was slurred…

According to police reports he died on the 29th.

15:30 in — There has been no official response to Iwaji’s death. There has been no official news coverage of his death, no official mention on the ‘Hodo Station’ program and no obituary.

However, ‘Hodo Station’ anchor Ichiro Furutachi and his co-anchor appeared in all black on one evening broadcast…

Furthermore, a strange caption appeared on Hodo Station stating that, “Time for nuclear news has run out. Please accept our apologies.” The caption was strangely phrased and strangely punctuated… a play on words that took the syllables from his name and combined them into a possible secret message.

17:45 in – According to Kaneko, and his friends and colleagues Iwaji reportedly had many plans for future projects, including a segment about the sailors on board the ship Ronald Reagan [who have been made very ill by exposure to radiation from the Fukushima disasters.]…

Chillingly, a photojournalist friend … said that he and Iwaji recently reassured each other when drinking, “Whatever happens, I want you to know I will never commit suicide.” And Kaneko says that “this is the refrain by other people too, not just someone we happen to know firsthand.

The reader is left to draw his own conclusions.

Full interview available here

Sources:

ENENews

Claire McCurdy

Claire McCurdy, Senior Editor at the International Policy Digest has come to writing after years with New York educational and nonprofit organizations.Her international work experience began as a teacher of English in Japan in the 1970’s, followed by work at Japan Trade Center in New York in the early 80’s. ..For the past four years Claire has also written a column in the International Policy Digest, covering international relations, health, and the arts, as they pertain to Japan.

After “3/11” Claire began to follow the news of Japan very closely.In July 2011, she attended and wrote a report on a Japan Society NY discussion featuring Japanese NGOs, academics and commentators, on the aftereffects of the triple disaster and the world’s response.She has been reporting on Fukushima events ever since through IPD and at meetings in Tokyo, Oxford (UK), and Rochester Institute of Technology, (RIT), New York.

A resident of New York, NY, Claire has an M.A. in History from New York University.
About Claire McCurdy (3 Articles)
Claire McCurdy, Senior Editor at the <em>International Policy Digest</em> has come to writing after years with New York educational and nonprofit organizations. Her international work experience began as a teacher of English in Japan in the 1970’s, followed by work at Japan Trade Center in New York in the early 80’s. .. For the past four years Claire has also written a column in the <a href="http://www.internationalpolicydigest.org/"><em>International Policy Digest</em></a>, covering international relations, health, and the arts, as they pertain to Japan. After “3/11” Claire began to follow the news of Japan very closely. In July 2011, she attended and wrote a report on a Japan Society NY discussion featuring Japanese NGOs, academics and commentators, on the aftereffects of the triple disaster and the world’s response. She has been reporting on Fukushima events ever since through IPD and at meetings in Tokyo, Oxford (UK), and Rochester Institute of Technology, (RIT), New York. A resident of New York, NY, Claire has an M.A. in History from New York University.