Letter of Request: We Ask for Journalism that will Stop the Genocide Taking Place in Gaza!

On 22 October 2023, the YWCA of Japan has issued the below letter to the media community in Japan:

Letter of Request: We Ask for Journalism to Stop the Genocide Taking Place in Gaza!

To the Press Community:

We are filled with deep sadness and outrage by how, after the attack by actors including Hamas, the situation is worsening, with the extreme retaliatory attacks by the Israeli military, the total blockade of Gaza, the threat of massive ground war, the absence of a humanitarian corridor established in Gaza while people are pushed to the Egyptian border with terrible suffering, and how devastating damages including bombing of hospitals are inflicted as the world watches, without any signs of the situation resolving.

What must be immediately stopped is any further loss of innocent lives, Palestinian or Israeli.

With the belief that journalism with justice will protect precious lives and serve the formulation of popular opinions that aspire for a peaceful world, we strongly request the following:

1. A Just journalism based on a politically fair standpoint, instead of merely following the U.S. position supporting Israel:

As workers in the media, please first learn about and realize the modern history surrounding the establishment of Israel and the exile of Palestinian refugees, as well as the Israeli Occupation that continues ignoring international laws and UN recommendations. Please create spaces to communicate the voices of scholars, NGO workers and all peace-making operators to the public. Please choose accurate language in your coverage.

2. Please grasp the geopolitical situation of Gaza, listen directly to those in the area as much as possible, and share concrete facts so the readers can see the actual situation:

To Japanese people, Gaza is located far away, making it a difficult place to imagine. Instead of the viewpoint of “Which side is righteous, Hamas or Israel”, a humanitarian point of view must be affirmed, in order to stop the massacre of innocent lives. Please make all possible efforts towards press coverage that holds back the genocide, by communicating what kind of life is being forced upon people under the occupation that has continued more than 70 years ignoring international laws, and how civilians are being indiscriminately exposed to threats to their lives.

3. A journalism that carries the voices of civilians, by standing on the side of the vulnerable, including women, children, people living with disabilities, and people who are unable to evacuate:

Half of the population in Gaza are children. Those who have been forced to flee to the South of Gaza after the evacuation order have almost nothing but the clothes on their back and nowhere to go. Many lives are lost even during such evacuation. Even if the border to Egypt is opened, what lies ahead is a desert. We request for press coverage that communicate the lived voices of the people in the area.

4. Given the ever-worsening daily situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories including Gaza and the West Bank, we request that the issue of Palestine continues to be publicized, even after the temporary attention passes by:

The news headlines have swiftly moved from Ukraine to Palestine. The news should not be an entertainment show. Please ensure press coverage that communicates the fundamental issue to peace-aspiring citizens, and continue providing such coverage.

5. Please make recommendations for the international community to create peace! Please provide such opinion pieces!

The issue of Palestine is not something limited between only Palestine and Israel. If the international community continues to ignore this, the number of victims will continue to increase. Government of Japan must exercise leadership in peaceful diplomacy.

Called on by the YWCA of Japan

Endorsed by 533 signatories (Organizations and individuals included, as of 25 October 2023)

Original Japanese version including names of signatories



YWCA(Young Women’s Christian Association)is an international NGO where, upon a Christian foundation, women from around the world exceed the barriers of language and cultures and work together to encourage women’s participation in society and to realize a peaceful world where human rights, health and environment is protected. The movement began in Great Britain in 1855, and nowadays, it works in more than 100 countries throughout the world. The YWCA of Japan works with 24 local YWCAs and 37 junior and senior high-school YWCAs, and holds ESOSOC consultative status since 2019.