Japan Freedom of the Press Ranks Higher Than USA

After three articles arguing that Japan is a much freer nation than today’s USA and getting many positive and negative reactions from readers such as this comment:

Actually, when you stop and think about it, it is a pretty damning statement when a guy can argue that Japan is freer than the USA. Japan? A nation that was extremely poor just 60 years ago and couldn’t feed her people – as well as being completely destroyed by WWII – is a freer country than America today? AND THIS GUY CAN ACTUALLY WIN THAT ARGUMENT?… That’s speaks volumes about the sad state of the USA today. The other thing that speaks volumes is how many American ex-pats seem to agree with him.

Sad days for the US.

Today, I plan on continuing with flogging a dead horse. Last night I got another article sent to me from my friend Ken Nishikawa that verifies what I have been saying all along; when it comes to personal freedoms, Japan blows away today’s USA.

Ken sends an survey from an organization called “Reporters Without Borders” who, in the 2010 survey rate Japan much higher than the USA is press freedoms (dare I say, “Freedom of speech”?) Ken writes:

It’s actually called “press-freedom index.” Japan is #11 whilst US is #20… And Eritrea has less press-freedom than North Korea.

From Reporters Without Borders:

“Our latest world press freedom index contains welcome surprises, highlights sombre realities and confirms certain trends,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said as his organisation issued its ninth annual index today. “More than ever before, we see that economic development, institutional reform and respect for fundamental rights do not necessarily go hand in hand. The defence of media freedom continues to be a battle, a battle of vigilance in the democracies of old Europe and a battle against oppression and injustice in the totalitarian regimes still scattered across the globe.

Reporters Without Borders Lists Japan at #11 for press freedom and the USA languishes at #20. For shame to the so-called beacon of democracy!

“We must salute the engines of press freedom, with Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland at their head. We must also pay homage to the human rights activists, journalists and bloggers throughout the world who bravely defend the right to speak out. Their fate is our constant concern. We reiterate our call for the release of Liu Xiaobo, the symbol of the pressure for free speech building up in China, which censorship for the time being is still managing to contain. And we warn the Chinese authorities against taking a road from which there is no way out.

“It is disturbing to see several European Union member countries continuing to fall in the index. If it does not pull itself together, the European Union risks losing its position as world leader in respect for human rights. And if that were to happen, how could it be convincing when it asked authoritarian regimes to make improvements? There is an urgent need for the European countries to recover their exemplary status.

“We are also worried by the harsher line being taken by governments at the other end of the index. Rwanda, Yemen and Syria have joined Burma and North Korea in the group of the world’s most repressive countries towards journalists. This does not bode well for 2011. Unfortunately, the trend in the most authoritarian countries is not one of improvement.”

Funny, but, if you go to the article in question and check, you’ll see that the United States has gone from #17 to #20 since 2002, when the survey of reporters began. Talk about a trend from an authoritarian country that is not one of improvement.

That the self-appointed defender of freedom and the country that is supposedly bringing democracy to the world is listed at a lowly #20 is a damned disgrace and embarrassment… After World War II, the USA taught freedom of thought, speech, and press to the Japanese. Now, in 2010, it seems the student has much to teach the teacher.