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NHK manager's Nanjing denial no problem: Japan government

Published on Feb 4, 2014 2:59 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - A senior NHK manager who denied any massacre at Nanjing during the 1930s did nothing wrong, Japan's government said on Tuesday, as another storm brewed over the integrity of the national broadcaster.

Mr Naoki Hyakuta, one of a 12-strong management committee responsible for programming policy and budget-setting at the publicly-funded broadcaster, dismissed as "propaganda" the accounts of the 1937-8 orgy of murder and rape by Japanese troops as they rampaged through China.

The comments, made during a stump speech for a right-wing candidate in Sunday's election for Tokyo governor, come after the newly-appointed head of NHK sparked anger with comments on Japan's wartime system of sex slavery and said the station's output should reflect government policy.

They appear set to fuel fears among some commentators that NHK, one of the world's biggest broadcasters, is falling meekly into line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's aggressively nationalist agenda.

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