The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) Japan Working Group, together with AMARC International and AMARC Asia-Pacific, is organising a radio forum for the duration of both the G8 Summit and the alternative G8 Summit in Hokkaido, Japan from 30 June to 10 July 2008. Based at the citizens media centre buildings in Sapporo, the radio forum will collect the audio coverage reports of the summit and parallel activities such as alternative G8 Summit, indigenous peoples summit, as well as demonstrations and workshops.
But just a week before the summit, Japanese authorities have implemented a more meticulous and even threatening process for foreign journalists entering the country to cover the G8 Summit. Initial reports from the G8 media network confirmed that three Hong Kong journalists registered with the citizen's media centre have been detained by the immigration police and might face deportation. Meanwhile, 74-year old French journalist Susan George was stopped at the airport and detained. The actual GB Summit is slated from 7 to 9 July 2008.
In a statement, the network explained, “Journalists and international media people often have to cover unforeseen events, and cannot always tell Immigration in advance their exact itinerary or schedule. Suppressing those people's activities is depriving the public of a chance to have their voices heard, and only promotes overemphasis on the reports from the powers that be.”
Reports on this incident and other events will be broadcast through local Japanese community radio stations as well as live-streamed through the radio forum website, http://www.g8-radioforum2008.org/ Audio coverage reports will be available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Japanese.
AMARC is an international non-governmental organization serving the community radio movement in over 110 countries. With its international secretariat in Montreal, AMARC has regional sections in Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific and offices in Johannesburg, Buenos Aires and Kathmandu.