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2015.01.23 Friday

#139 Censorship

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    こんにちは!

    年が明けたと思ったら、もう2月も目前まで迫ってきていますね!

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    #139 Censorship


    Censorship is the examination of books, films and other media, and the removals of anything considered to be offensive, morally harmful or politically dangerous.

    In Japan, it is prohibited by the constitution. Freedom of expression is also guaranteed by the constitution. That's why I haven't been conscious of censorship. People can say or write about political criticism nowadays.

    However there was the time when Japanese couldn't say or write what they wanted to. Especially, during World War II. The military authorities moved to the political front. They guided citizens to war. Nobody could say what they wanted to say.

    Books and newspapers were censored and their content was tailored to suit the government's convenience. Almost all films' content was made to whip up war sentiment. Citizens got excited by the war.

    Censorship removes the right to know. It makes people direct their attention to governmental opinion. It seems to be necessary during the war but it is dangerous for citizens.


    教師より
    Censorship is one of the primary methods of controlling and, if need be, constricting the flow of information to the masses.

    Very often throughout history authorities have used censorship as a powerful tool to regulate the information conveyed by media, inadvertently leading to rises in the value of truth.

    Indeed information itself has, these days, become a precious commodity, much like gold, easily traded for money by marketing companies or between governments for other information.

    There are however differences between information generally presented by various forms of reference and educational materials such as history textbooks or encyclopedias and information expressed through creative means such as visual arts or music.

    The former is an exclusive realm of governmental institutions and regulatory commissions and it is therefore understandable why it would be affected by governmental agendas. The latter on the other hand has always been the sole property of the masses and a form of self expression protected by most modern-day bills of rights.

    It follows therefore that censoring self expression would fit under the category of violation of civil rights and therefore obligate the governments responsible to stop doing so. Acting otherwise would be a form of criminal behavior prosecutable by independent and state judicial bodies.
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