Censorship in the Empire of Japan

Censorship In The Empire Of Japan

Censorship in the Empire of Japan

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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 Shogun and government.

Meiji Period (1868–1912)

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 , 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 issues 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 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......
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