Photo/IllutrationDavid Kaye at a news conference in Tokyo in June (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

NEW YORK--A U.N. rapporteur has said that the domination in Japan of huge media outlets has an adverse effect on investigative journalism.

David Kaye, the U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, indicated that government pressure on media outlets easily influences individual reporters who are reliant on the companies they belong to as it is not so easy to move from job to job.

“The media has particular problems that I have identified that are both governmental pressure on the media, but also the structure of the media in Japan is such that ... it’s dominated by large companies," Kaye said at a media briefing Oct. 25 at U.N. headquarters in New York to talk about current situation of media independence.

He also said journalists in Japan do not have the same “mobility” of moving from one media outlet to another as in other developed nations.

“So the pressure from the government has a particular impact on Japanese journalists, and that has a very big impact on the kind of investigative journalism that you see there,” he stated.

Kaye also talked about China, listing points such as “dominance of state media,” “censorship that is very, very deep” and “the great firewall of China, which harshly restricts the ability of Chinese citizens and anybody in China to get access to information coming from outside.” Kaye said that it is a “very large concern.”

As for the United States, Kaye used the word “awful” to describe how President Donald Trump has identified the media as the “enemy” of the people and has dismissed news coverage that he doesn’t like as "fake news."

Regarding Trump’s regular lambasting of the media at meetings, Kaye said, “I think there is a long-term detrimental impact on respect for ... First Amendment values which are also human rights, freedom of expression values, and I am really deeply concerned about that.”