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Censorship (検閲, Ken'etsu) in the Empire of Japan was a continuation of a long tradition beginning in the feudal period of Japan. Government censorship of the press existed in Japan during the Edo period, as the Tokugawa bakufu was in many ways a police state, which sought to control the spread of information, including Christianity, the influx of Western ideas, pornography and any political writings critical of the shōgun and government.
With the Meiji Restoration, the focus of state censorship of information shifted to protection of the Emperor and the fledgling Meiji government. Ideals of liberal democracy were considered dangerously subversive, and were targeted with the Publication Ordinance of 1869 (出版条例, Shuppan Jōrei), which banned certain subjects (including pornography), and subjected publications to pre-publication review and approvals. Initially intended to serve as a copyright law, it was quickly adopted as a method of controlling public anti-government criticism.
With the establishment of the cabinet system of government, the Home Ministry was assigned this task, and issued a variety of regulations aimed specifically at newspapers. The growth of the Freedom and People's Rights Movement caused a reaction by conservative elements within the government to pass strict libel laws in 1875, and also a draconian Press Ordinance of 1875 (新聞紙条例, Shimbunshi Jōrei) that was so severe that it was labeled the “newspaper abolition law” as it empowered the Home Minister to ban or shut down offending newspapers which the government deemed offensive to public order or state security. The ordinance was further strengthened in revisions of 1887, which extended penalties to authors as well as publishers, and also restricted the import of foreign language newspapers with objectionable material.
During the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895, and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, the Army Ministry also imposed separate censorship restrictions in time of war.
The censorship laws were revised again in the Publication Law of 1893 (出版法, Shuppan Hō), which remained virtually unchanged until 1949. Newspaper regulations followed suit in the Press Law of 1909 (新聞紙条例, Shimbunshi Jorei), which followed the regulations of the 1893 Publication Law and detailed punishments for offenses.
Although the Taishō period is stereotyped as one of liberal politics, it was also a period of great social upheaval, and the government became increasingly heavy-handed in its attempts to control the spread of new political philosophies deemed dangerous to the government: especially socialism, communism, and anarchism. After the end of World War I, the Peace Preservation Law of 1925 increased police powers to prosecute promoters of socialism and of the Korean independence movement. Censorship restrictions were also expanded to cover religious groups. In 1928, the death penalty was added for certain violations, and the Special Higher Police Force (Tokkō) was created to deal with ideological offenses (i.e. thought crimes) on a national basis.
In 1924, the Publications Monitoring Department of the Home Ministry was created with separate sections for censorship, investigation and general affairs. With the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Home Ministry, Army Ministry, Navy Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs all held regular meetings with publishers to provide advice on how to follow the ever-stringent regulations. Penalties for violations increased in severity, and voice recordings (including radio broadcasts) also came under official purview.
In 1936, an Information and Propaganda Committee was created within the Home Ministry, which issued all official press statements, and which worked together with the Publications Monitoring Department on censorship issues. The activities of this committee, a consortium of military, politicians and professionals upgraded to a Cabinet Information Division (内閣情報部, Naikaku jōhōbu) in September 1937, were proscriptive as well as prescriptive. Besides applying censorship to all medias of the Shōwa regime and issuing detailed guidelines to publishers, it made suggestions that were all but commands.  From 1938, print media "would come to realize that their survival depended upon taking cues from the Cabinet Information Bureau and its flagship publication, Shashin shūhō, designers of the 'look' of the soldier, and the 'look' of the war".[ attribution needed ] 
Article 12 of the censorship guideline for newspapers issued on September 1937 stated that any news article or photograph "unfavorable" to the Imperial Army was subject to a gag. Article 14 prohibited any "photographs of atrocities" but endorsed reports about the "cruelty of the Chinese" soldiers and civilians. 
Giving the example of the Nanjing massacre, Tokushi Kasahara of Tsuru University asserts, "Some deniers argue that Nanjing was much more peaceful than we generally think. They always show some photographs with Nanjing refugees selling some food in the streets or Chinese people smiling in the camps. They are forgetting about Japanese propaganda. The Imperial Army imposed strict censorship. Any photographs with dead bodies couldn't get through. So photographers had to remove all the bodies before taking pictures of streets and buildings in the city ... Even if the photos were not staged, the refugees had no choice but to fawn on the Japanese soldiers. Acting otherwise meant their deaths ..." 
One of the most famous examples of censorship is related to Mugi to heitai (Wheat and soldiers), Ashihei Hino's wartime bestseller. A paragraph in which the author described the beheading of three Chinese soldiers was cut from the final section of the book despite the author's dedication to the war effort. 
In 1940, the Information Department (情報部, Jōhōbu) was elevated to the Information Bureau (情報局, Jōhōkyoku), which consolidated the previously separate information departments from the Army, Navy and Foreign Ministry under the aegis of the Home Ministry. The new Jōhōkyoku had complete control over all news, advertising and public events. It was headed by a president (sōsai) responsible directly to the Prime minister with a staff of about 600 people including military officers and officials from the Home and Foreign ministries.  In February 1941 it distributed among editors a black list of writers whose articles they were advised not to print anymore. 
The officials spokesmen of the Naikaku Johōkyoku, such as the vice-president Hideo Okumura, Major-General Nakao Nahagi and Captain Hideo Hiraide, became themselves the most popular commentators. These men addressed press conferences, spoke on the radio and wrote in newspapers. 
The Naikaku Johōkyoku however dealt only with civilian matters. War bulletins were the domain of the Daihonei hōdōbu, the Press Department of the Imperial General Headquarters which was made up of the press sections of the Army and the Navy. The Daihonei hōdōbu deployed its own war correspondents and occasionally drafted civilian reporters for coverage. 
The 1941 revision of the National Mobilization Law (国家総動員法, Kokka Sōdōin Hō) eliminated freedom of the press completely. All mail was also subject to scrutiny. In February 1942, all newspapers were ordered to merge, or to cease publication. The Japan Publishers League (日本新聞連盟Nihon shinbun renmei), reorganized in the Japan Publishers Association (日本新聞会Nihon shinbunkai) agreed to cooperate with the government by conducting internal monitoring of its members by a self-screening of drafts, manuscripts and proofs before final submission to the official government censors. As the war situation deteriorated, the government took over the distribution of paper, releasing supplies only for matter related to official policy. By 1944, only 34 magazines were left in publication, and by 1945, only one newspaper was permitted per prefecture.
After the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers abolished all forms of censorship and controls on freedom of speech, which was also integrated into Article 21 of the 1947 Constitution of Japan. However, press censorship remained a reality in the post-war era, especially in matters of pornography, and in political matters deemed subversive by the American government during the occupation of Japan.
According to David M. Rosenfeld:
Not only did Occupation censorship forbid criticism of the United States or other Allied nations, but the mention of censorship itself was forbidden. This means, as Donald Keene observes, that for some producers of texts "the Occupation censorship was even more exasperating than Japanese military censorship had been because it insisted that all traces of censorship be concealed. This meant that articles had to be rewritten in full, rather than merely submitting XXs for the offending phrases."— Donald Keene, quoted in Dawn to the West 
Japan was occupied and administered by the victorious Allies of World War II from the 1945 surrender of the Empire of Japan at the end of the war until the Treaty of San Francisco took effect in 1952. The occupation, led by the United States with support from the British Commonwealth and under the supervision of the Far Eastern Commission, involved a total of nearly 1 million Allied soldiers. The occupation was overseen by American General Douglas MacArthur, who was appointed Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers by US President Harry Truman; MacArthur was succeeded as supreme commander by General Matthew Ridgway in 1951. Unlike in the occupation of Germany, the Soviet Union had little to no influence over the occupation of Japan, declining to participate because it did not want to place Soviet troops under MacArthur's direct command.
Nakae Chōmin was the pen-name of a journalist, political theorist and statesman in Meiji-period Japan. His real name was Nakae Tokusuke. His major contribution was the popularization of the egalitarian doctrines of the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Japan. As a result, Nakae is thought to have been a major force in the development of liberalism in early Japanese politics.
Sports Hochi, previously known as Hochi Shimbun, is a Japanese-language daily sports newspaper. In 2002, it had a circulation of a million copies a day.
The February 26 Incident was an attempted coup d'état in the Empire of Japan on 26 February 1936. It was organized by a group of young Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) officers with the goal of purging the government and military leadership of their factional rivals and ideological opponents.
The Ministry of Information (MOI), headed by the Minister of Information, was a United Kingdom government department created briefly at the end of the First World War and again during the Second World War. Located in Senate House at the University of London during the 1940s, it was the central government department responsible for publicity and propaganda. The MOI was dissolved in March 1946, with its residual functions passing to the Central Office of Information (COI); which was itself dissolved in December 2011 due to the reforming of the organisation of government communications.
Shortly prior to and during World War II, and coinciding with the Second Sino-Japanese War, tens of thousands of Jewish refugees were resettled in the Japanese Empire. The onset of the European war by Nazi Germany involved the lethal mass persecutions and genocide of Jews, later known as the Holocaust, resulting in thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing east. Many ended up in Japanese-occupied China.
The Army Ministry, also known as the Ministry of War, was the cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). It existed from 1872 to 1945.
The Yokusan Sonendan was an elite paramilitary youth branch of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association political party of wartime Empire of Japan established in January 1942, and based on the model of the German Sturmabteilung (stormtroopers).
The Home Ministry was a Cabinet-level ministry established under the Meiji Constitution that managed the internal affairs of Empire of Japan from 1873 to 1947. Its duties included local administration, elections, police, monitoring people, social policy and public works. In 1938, the HM's social policy was detached from itself, then the Ministry of Health and Welfare was established. In 1947, the HM was abolished under the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers restoration, then its administrative affairs were proceeded to the National Police Agency, the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Home Affairs and so on. In 2001, the MOHA was integrated with the Management and Coordination Agency and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, then the Ministry of Public Management, Home affairs, Posts and Telecommunications was established. In 2004, the MPHPT changed its English name into the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. In other words, the MIC is the direct descendant of the HM.
Ashihei Hino was a Japanese writer, whose works included depictions of military life during World War II. He was born in Wakamatsu and in 1937 he received the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for one of his novels, Fun'nyōtan. At that moment he was a soldier for the Japanese army in China. He then got promoted to the information corps and published numerous works about the daily lives of Japanese soldiers. It is for his war novels that he became famous during the war. His book Mugi to Heitai sold over a million copies.
Tōhōkai was a Japanese fascist political party which advocated Nazism. The party was active in Japan during the 1930s and early 1940s. Its origins lay in the right-wing political organization Kokumin Domei which was formed by Adachi Kenzō in 1933. In 1936, Nakano Seigō disagreed with Adachi on of matters of policy and formed a separate group, which he called the 'Tōhōkai'.
Japanese newspapers, similar to their worldwide counterparts, run the gamut from general news-oriented papers to special-interest newspapers devoted to economics, sports, literature, industry, and trade. Newspapers are circulated either nationally, by region, by each prefecture, or by each city. Some newspapers publish as often as two times a day while others publish weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. The five leading national daily newspapers in Japan are the Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, the Yomiuri Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun and the Nikkei Shimbun. The first two are generally considered liberal/left-leaning while the latter three are considered conservative/right-leaning. The most popular national daily English-language newspaper in Japan is The Japan Times.
Censorship in Japan has taken many forms throughout the history of the country. While Article 21 of the Constitution of Japan guarantees freedom of expression and prohibits formal censorship, effective censorship of obscene content does exist and is justified by the Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Japan. Historically, the law has been interpreted in different ways—recently it has been interpreted to mean that all pornography must be at least partly censored, and a few arrests has been made based on this law.
John Reddie Black was a Scottish publisher, journalist, writer, photographer, and singer. Much of his career was spent in China and Japan where he published several newspapers including The Far East, a fortnightly newsmagazine illustrated with original photographs.
Nanjing Massacre denial is the denial of the fact that Imperial Japanese forces murdered hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers and civilians in the city of Nanjing during the Second Sino-Japanese War, an extremely controversial episode in the history of Sino-Japanese relations. Some historians accept the findings of the Tokyo tribunal with respect to the scope and nature of the atrocities which were committed by the Imperial Japanese Army after the Battle of Nanjing, but others do not. In Japan, however, there has been a debate over the extent and nature of the massacre. Relations between Japan and China have been complicated as a result, as denial of the massacre is seen in China as part of an overall unwillingness on Japan's part to admit and apologize for its aggression, or a perceived insensitivity regarding the killings. Estimates of the death toll vary widely, ranging from 40,000 to 200,000. Some scholars, notably revisionists in Japan, have contended that the actual death toll is far lower, or even that the event was entirely fabricated and never occurred at all. These revisionist accounts of the killings have become a staple of Japanese nationalist discourse.
Heimin Shinbun was a socialist and anti-war daily newspaper established in Japan in November 1903, as the newspaper of the Heimin-sha group. It was founded by Kōtoku Shūsui and Sakai Toshihiko, as a pacifist response to the approaching Russo-Japanese War. When the newspaper that Kōtoku and fellow socialist Sanshirō Ishikawa had worked for, Yorozu Chūhō, endorsed the war, they resigned in protest to form the group.
Michio Yuzawa was a bureaucrat and cabinet minister in early Shōwa period Japan.
Political prisoners in Imperial Japan were detained and prosecuted by the government of the Empire of Japan for dissent, attempting to change the national character of Japan, Communist activity, or association with a group whose stated aims included the aforementioned goals. Following the dissolution of the Empire of Japan after World War II, all remaining political prisoners were released by policies issued under the Allied occupation of Japan.
Throughout the Second Sino-Japanese war (1937–1945), Japanese dissidents and Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) joined the Chinese in the war against the Empire of Japan.
Censorship in Indonesia has varied since the country declared its independence in 1945. For most of its history the government of Indonesia has not fully allowed free speech and has censored controversial, critical, or minority viewpoints, and during periods of crackdown it imprisoned writers and political activists. However, partly due to the weakness of the state and cultural factors, it has never been a country with full censorship where no critical voices were able to be printed or voiced.