Norika Fujiwara has broken an unwritten rule of the television business: sharing her political views. The popular model and actress has come out against a bill that stiffens penalties against civil servants who leak classified information.
Writing on her website, Fujiwara, 42, said passing such a law would adversely affect citizens and encouraged her fans to pressure the government to kill the bill, which the Diet will take up in an extraordinary session scheduled to open Oct. 15.
In a message posted on Friday, Fujiwara accused the government of covering up the truth about the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, and spreading misinformation about radiation and leaks of radioactive water there.
“As a citizen I am really concerned about it,” Fujiwara wrote in another message. “Our nation has a right to know.”
Fujiwara joins the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association in opposing the bill as a violation of the right to freedom of speech that will undermine Japan’s democracy.
“Once the bill is signed, the people who will write the truth on the Internet (or through other means) will be punished,” she stressed. “When I think of all the consequences that it will lead to, it really bothers me.”
However, she is not the first TV celebrity to expose herself to criticism by expressing her opinions.
After speaking out against nuclear power in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, actor and activist Taro Yamamoto lost a part in a TV series, and another show he appeared on cut to a commercial in the midst of his political commentary.
Yamamoto was elected to the Upper House in July after vowing to rid Japan of atomic power.