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Raid on the Diet Press Hall

SNA (Tokyo) — Freelance journalists raid the Diet kisha club building in order to properly report the massive protests against the Abe government’s unilateral dismissal of the Japanese Constitution.


Michael Penn: It was a historical event. The eve of the Abe administration’s unilateral dismissal of the Japanese Constitution. The Japanese right-wing was fulfilling one of its long-desired goals, and it would be done in a manner that was comparable to a legal coup d’etat. Many thousands were protesting, but even then the Japanese major media played down these dramatic events when they managed to report about them at all. Japanese freelance journalists had had enough with the elite press clubs. It was time for a raid. Quickly moving into an elevator, this is what they saw.

Normally only the major media could film from this spot. Although the Diet Press Hall was built and funded entirely by taxpayers, they excluded the independent and freelance media through dubious, self-serving regulations. A building manager came out to the roof and refused to give his name or explain the grounds for his authority, but demanded that the freelancers get out.

They told him that they had just as much right to film the historic protests from this spot than did any other media. The first man left and after some time, another angry man arrived with the same message. The freelance journalist raiders, of which there were eventually over a dozen, put the interests of their public first and simply covered the story.

This is Michael Penn for the Shingestu News Agency in Tokyo.

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