Japan’s dramatic fall in press freedom rankings has coincided with censorship over what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been putting in his mouth.
The state of press freedom now ranks lower than Tanzania. Japan has fallen to 72nd place in the Reporters Without Borders 2016 press freedom index – a drop of 11 places since last year.
It has come to light that PM Abe has been reaching for a cylinder-shaped object during press conferences and then proceeding to place one end of the object in his mouth.
Government officials have claimed it’s just a bottle of water but pixelated photos have emerged strengthening public doubts.
Many in the community are experts on pixelated pictures and have become well adept at discerning the real image behind the pixilation.
These people are adamant the government is not telling the truth.
“I’ve been looking at pixelated images my whole life – I know when I see a water bottle and when I don’t see a water bottle – this is not a water bottle,” said one local Tokyo resident.