A recent report in Reuter’s states that:
(Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s government is planning a state secrets act that critics say could curtail public access to information on a wide range of issues, including tensions with China and the Fukushima nuclear crisis. The new law would dramatically expand the definition of official secrets and journalists convicted under it could be jailed for up to five years.
Critics see parallels between the new law and Abe’s drive to revise Japan’s U.S.-drafted, post-war constitution to stress citizen’s duties over civil rights, part of a conservative agenda that includes a stronger military and recasting Japan’s wartime history with a less apologetic tone. “There is a demand by the established political forces for greater control over the people,” said Lawrence Repeta, a law professor at Meiji University. “This fits with the notion that the state should have broad authority to act in secret.” Abe says the new law, a draft of which was approved by his cabinet on Friday and should be passed by parliament in the current session, is vital to his plan to set up a U.S.-style National Security Council to oversee security policies and coordinate among ministries.
If they are making plans to penalize truth telling, there must be secrets that need to be kept. This is not consistent with democracy, in which transparency is fundamental to having an educated citizens. Mussolini stated that fascism exists when the state and the corporations become inseparable. Does this sound familiar? How reliable will reports about Fukushima be, when whistle blowers can be threatened with jail?
- Japan secrecy act stirs fears about press freedom, right to know (nuclear-news.net)
- Japanese state secret act could restrict country’s press freedom (tokyotimes.com)
- Japan Likely To Pass New Secrecy Law That Would Put Whistleblowers And Journalists In Jail (blacklistednews.com)
- Japan’s secrets act plans to gag whistleblowers (blueandgreentomorrow.com)
- Japan’s new state secrets law raise fears over Fukushima reporting (fukushimaupdate.com)
- Edward Snowden Has Japan Copying China’s Playbook – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)