JAPAN: Media Icon Defies Status Quo Amid Olympics Euphoria

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – While much of the nation celebrates its 2020 Summer Olympics bid win, one celebrity has done something surprising: speak out against the government.

Norika Fujiwara, a popular model and actress, recently revealed her distaste for a proposed bill on her website. Referred to as the state secrets protection bill, the measure would “stiffen penalties against civil servants who leak classified information.” The media icon asserted that the seemingly innocuous proposal would, in actuality, infringe upon the populace’s freedom of speech. She stressed the implications to her fans, writing “Once the bill is signed, the people who will write the truth on the Internet (or through other means) will be punished.”

Further, in a separate post, Fujiwara accused the government of “covering up details” and “spreading misinformation” regarding the Fukushima nuclear plant. She wrote a follow-up statement after Tokyo’s designation as the 2020 Olympics host, expressing hope that the “duty would prompt the government to tackle the radiation crisis head-on.” Considering the pressure now on Tokyo, one can only hope something will be done.

In a nation typically known for uniformity and consensus Fujiwara stands out. Openness such as hers is rare amongst Japanese celebrities, considering some, such as Taro Yamamoto, have faced career-debilitating backlash as a result.

(Edit: May 19, 2014) The following source link is no longer active. Apologies for any inconvenience.


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