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Thursday, 15 February 2007

Ben Hills, an award-winning Australian journalist ("one of Australia's best-known investigative journalists" according to his Web site) who has spent a lot of time in Japan, has angered the Japanese government, reports The Australian.

Hills' book, Princess Masako, the prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne, is about to be published in Japanese. It has been available in English since 1 November last year. Hills says "the only reason the Japanese Government was complaining now was because the book was about to be published in Japanese".

As a man who has spent a lot of time in Japan, Hills is quite unrepentant. Indeed, he goes on the attack:

"I find this offensive," Hills said. "They did not specify factual errors. There was nothing they produced to us that warranted an apology. I told the ambassador's representative Australians were very proud of their freedom of the press and we strongly resisted any attempt by any government, particularly a foreign government, to tell us what we can read. Princess Masako should get an apology from the Imperial Household Agency for bullying her into a state of severe depression."

Of course, there's no other way to handle the Japanese. It is necessary to be firm.

"We are studying the facts and content of the book," said a spokesman for Japanese publishers Kodansha. He said the book's publication, scheduled for this month, could depend on the response to demands for apologies and corrections.

1 comment:

kimbofo said...

Hills 'Blue Murder' is one of my all-time favourite non-fiction reads.