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Secrecy act stirs fears about press freedom, right to know

40 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka

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40 Comments
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Building up the military, changing the constitution so that Japan can perform acts of aggression, secrecy laws, rewriting history, Abe is leading this country back to the country it was before WWII.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Abe is not a fascist. He just pays respects to Tojo at Yasukuni and wants the government to be able to keep secrets with impunity in peace time. But he is NOT a fascist. Absolutely not! (cough)

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Oh dear, this is already starting to look pretty grim.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Maybe they could hire that North Korean state reporter to cover Japanese news: "Fukushima was gloriously opened today as millions of ecstatic people drank celebratory bottles of pure water scooped from the pristine wells around the plant. Other countries sent praises of the Government, and children wrote poetry with uncontrollable happiness, etc.,etc..."

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Together with the Peace Preservation Law and the Military Secrets Act before WWII and in wartime, this will lead to the control of free speech and oppression and will hark Japan back to the dark age.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

In essence secrecy laws allow the government to define what is secret.

If a topic is 'secret' and related to national security then anything concerning that topic could be a breach of the law with penalty..

In the UK the Offical Secrets Act is signed by every civil servant and the divulgence of the colour of the carpet in the office could in theory be a breach of the act.

Fortunately, the act has not been misused (in the UK) but I would wager that nationalistic Abe would not shirk away from doing so.

The Japanese government has shown in the case of Minamata in Kyushu and the recent nuclear disaster at Fukushima where the actual releases of radiation have never been made public that an enpowerment towards secrecy is NOT in the interests of the Japanese people.

The current penalties are sufficient in an open democracy but in Abe's militaristic vision of the future they are obviously not........

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And so it begins....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japanese government would never disclose such serecies to people even if 50, 100 years passed, because top secrets are confidential forever.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So in essence the press will be silenced even more. Great way to cover things up, or sweep them under the carpet. Things are getting worse and I'm getting a bit tired of the apathy here. Does no one care?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There have been problems recently with secrets being leaked. While the punishments in this law may seem harsh, it is necessary to prevent the sort of problems the US has seen with overzealous "activists" who seek fame and fortune by leaking classified information to a public that for the most part, would rather not know.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

what the lapdogs that are the Japanese press are worried about becoming even more censored?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

or 10 years if the data came from the U.S. military.

... so the U.S. isn't content with just undermining the freedom of its own citizens, it wants to gag everyone in the world. What's next, declaring every American atrocity right back to the Native Indian genocide a "state secret" so that the U.S. can hang onto its delusion that it is the good guy?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How far will the sickness of political power go?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There goes any immunity for political whistle-blowing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan compalins about China and N. Korea all the time. They`ll have to be quiet now, they have stooped to the same level.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@frungy

... so the U.S. isn't content with just undermining the freedom of its own citizens, it wants to gag everyone in the world. What's next, declaring every American atrocity right back to the Native Indian genocide a "state secret" so that the U.S. can hang onto its delusion that it is the good guy?

Hmmm, I thought the thread was about Japan's press of freedom, how you tie the US to what Abe is doing is strange, but Hey...I digress.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They have a lot to hide since the incident in Fukushima. They are pouring money into their supporting contractors and getting away with the damages to people while strengthening radical nationalism that is in tune with moving towards dictatorship. This is all so worrying to me as it only shows Japan is going down while South Korea and China are moving up fast. Politicians are ruining the fate of Japan just the way they did in 1930-1940's.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"So if they say radiation testing results are state secrets they can effectively silence all and any testing. If they say crime numbers are state secrets they can also control all and any crime reporting, as if the NPA doesn't already. Scary stuff.

Burgeoning domestic debt with no foreseeable way of paying it back, Japan now owes more money than any other country in the world (us$77,000 per person, total 15 trillion yen and growing everyday with Abenomics weakening the yen.) wait until the external debt creeps up {record trade deficit last year}. Do they really think they can afford to pay to clean up Fukushima?). It can't buy back the debt so perhaps Abe will also make such information a "state secret" Once the media is silenced the people really are powerless. Democracy is sailing out the door under Abe's watch, disguised as national pride."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is press freedom in Japan?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No thank you. Abe is becoming the of Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

press... what? XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm wondeing if Abe is trying to prevent people finding out that he's already committed to restarting the nuclear reactors, regardless of what results his pet "safety inquiry" comes to.

The largest-ever shipment of plutonium arrived in Japan on a boat last weekend. What is he planning to do with that?

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090519/world-news/protests-as-nuclear-fuel-ship-docks-in-japan.257547

Yet the matter isn't covered anywhere in the Japanese press, as far as I'm aware. Is the secrecy act already in force?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Iron Heel.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sounds like an excuse for government censorship.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How anyone can have the gall to even begin to defend such oppression is sickening. Following in the footsteps of other current fascists.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So, Abe wants to take a harsher stance on China... by BECOMING China??

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Abe wants with a desperate kind of urgency to be seen as a tough-talking "War President," in the vein of Roosevelt or Truman. The air around him and his policy initiatives is thick with the stench of this desperation.

Japanese voters, like never before, need to pull their collective heads from their posteriors and take a long, hard look at Abe the man and what he envisions for Japan's future.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Whilst it is tempting to think this is connected to Fukushima or nuclear power, this is the same type of agenda Abe had in 2006 when he was Prime Minister then. That time his idiotic rubbish only lasted a year before his scandal-ridden government fell apart and Shinzo quit with tummy trouble. This time he has been hailed as the new messiah by Japan's extremely compliant media, who never question him on anything. With the level of compliance he has, it is diffcult to understand why he wants to curtail media, but he has an extreme right-wing agenda, sees himself as Head Samurai in a feudal village and doesn't like the populace questionning him or his policies. He wants to make out China is the great threat to Japan, whilst removing the basic freedoms that make Japan unlike China. Pathetic really, but highly prictable.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

bass4funkOct. 28, 2013 - 09:53AM JST Hmmm, I thought the thread was about Japan's press of freedom, how you tie the US to what Abe is doing is strange, but Hey...I digress.

When a JAPANESE law contains a SPECIFIC clause doubling the time in jail for revealing U.S. secrets, it doesn't take a genius to say, "Hey, looks like the U.S. is behind this law.".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The largest-ever shipment of plutonium arrived in Japan on a boat last weekend. What is he planning to do with that?

The article you linked is dated 2009. Perhaps you could provide us with the updated link of last week's "largest ever shipment".

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I 'm not so sure whether this secrets law is such a bad idea or not. Other major countries would have similiar laws, and I 've heard that USA is reluctant to reveal to Japan security intelligence that benefits Japan without this kind of laws.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At least we won't have to twist and hide facts about the Nanjing Massacre and write history books to the contrary. The Secrets Act will take care of everything from how many times Abe goes to the toilet or screws his wife or someone else's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You all seem to forget that the Japanese people voted for this guy. They didn't find it weird that he should be voted back after having his chance once. Nope, they thought it was a great idea thus he is back. Now we can argue that people here are an ignorant bunch and easily duped by empty promises ("abenomics") but you get what you vote for. The Japanese people deserve this guy. Too bad they cannot see the writing on the wall.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You all seem to forget that the Japanese people voted for this guy.

Not really. It's more like they voted against the other guy's party.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now we can argue that people here are an ignorant bunch and easily duped by empty promises ("abenomics") but you get what you vote for. The Japanese people deserve this guy. Too bad they cannot see the writing on the wall.

Wow, Knox... way to go, insulting Japanese people by calling them ignorant.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

calling them ignorant.

ignorant isn't an insult if it's true. Are they actually in possession of all the relevant information? Who is?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's the China threat .... if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Japan-Sino relations on track as all parties agree to keep press on a short leash.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All you reporters had better check out a reporter named William Worthy. You could be next. Since Abe borrowed "Reganomics" with such success, he probably figured that he could capitalize on some democracy Obama style and get ready to literally shoot the messengers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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