Thousands sign petition against Japan’s Secrecy Bill


TOKYO (majirox news) — The Secrecy Bill introduced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears likely to be enacted, despite the opposition of nearly 4 out of 5 Japanese (77%).

It has passed the lower house of the Japanese Diet (parliament), and with the help of the Japan Restoration Party (JRP) and Your Party, it is likely to clear the upper house before the end of this current parliamentary session on December 6. It will complement yesterday’s establishment of a National Security Council on the American model, bringing the Defense Ministry into the national policy-making process (though at the time of writing, there is no obligation to record the proceedings of the Council).

However, some in these two smaller parties are not whole-heartedly behind the bill, and at least one online petition has been set up, calling on those within the JRP and Your Party to withdraw their support for the bill, which could prevent the bill in its present state from becoming law.

Abe brushed aside suggestions that the bill is over-protective of government secrecy, and claims that the law is necessary to establish the trust needed for other nations to share security secrets with Japan. Critics, however, say that the bill is draconian, and vague in its definition of those authorized to define “secrets” and matters which may be defined as “secret.” Many fear for the freedom of the press if this law is enacted.

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