Japan to boost media coverage of N.Korea abductees

An advisory panel on Wednesday approved the government's decision to order Japan's public broadcaster to beam more programs overseas about the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. The move drew immediate protests from the main opposition party amid growing debate over state control of the media. The government said last week that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will order the state-owned Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, to increase coverage of the abductions issue in its overseas shortwave radio broadcasts. The order was approved Wednesday by a ministry advisory panel, ministry official Hirohio Asaoka said. Communications Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to issue the order this week, Asaoka said.