Japan Falls to 70th in Freedom of Press Rankings

Yomiuri Shimbun file photos
The Japanese flag

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan fell by two places from last year to 70th in the 2024 world freedom of press rankings, according to international journalist organization Reporters Without Borders, or RSF.

“Traditional and business interests, political pressure and gender inequalities often prevent journalists from completely fulfilling their role as watchdogs,” the Paris-based organization said Friday.

“On social media, nationalist groups also routinely harass journalists who criticize the government or cover ‘unpatriotic’ subjects,” RSF added.

Japan was ranked lowest among the Group of Seven major countries.

In the rankings of 180 countries and regions, China, which was the second worst last year, rose to 172nd place, and North Korea, which was the last, to 177th.

On China, the group said, “Independent journalists and bloggers who dare to report ‘sensitive’ information are often placed under surveillance, harassed, detained, and, in some cases, tortured.”

“China is the world’s largest jailer of journalists, with more than 100 currently detained,” RSF also said.

Regarding Russia, ranked 162nd, the group said that since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, “almost all independent media have been banned, blocked and/or declared ‘foreign agents’ or ‘undesirable organizations.’”

All of the top 10 slots were occupied by European countries, with Norway atop the list for the eighth straight year. At the bottom was Eritrea in Africa.