Reuters: “‘Fear’ and ‘favor’ chill newsroom at storied Japanese paper”

Mari Saito and Ami Miyazaki on an appalling right-wing attack on the editorial integrity of The Japan Times, an English-language newspaper which is under new ownership:

In the past, the Japan Times described Korean workers as “forced laborers” and comfort women as those “forced to provide sex for Japanese troops before and during World War II.”

But the five-sentence note published on Nov. 30 said the country’s oldest English-language paper would refer to Korean workers simply as “wartime laborers.”

It would be disappointing if the paper’s new editors bend to the non sequitur of equating honest criticism of Japan’s shameful past with Japan-bashing.

The executive editor of the Japan Times, Hiroyasu Mizuno, told staff in the December meeting that he had two goals: to avoid creating the perception the paper was “anti-Japanese,” and to increase advertising revenue from Japanese companies and institutions.

Some readers said the change glossed over Japan’s wartime actions.

Prominent Japanese conservatives, meanwhile, applauded the move, calling it a coup for nationalist activists agitating for English-language news outlets to change such descriptions.

Why are all the people in power supporting all the wrong causes?