politics

Japan set to pass state secret law despite growing opposition

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This is Japan becoming more like Japan: Fascist Totalitarian. The old days are back!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

It is the death of democracy in Japan. We will see similar events as in Thailand. If you speak out against the government or the emperor you are labeled a terrorist. At least half the people posting on this site could be arrested.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

PM Abe hasn’t implemented a single structural reform in almost a year in office. Not one. He’s taken no important steps to deregulate, shake up or remake an overmanaged economy. But this particular legislation apparently needs to be passed, like, yesterday. If only Abe would put one-tenth this much energy into tweaking tax policies or empowering Japanese women. The problem that’s sure to get even worse as incentives for media self-censorship increase. If you think the powerful bureaucrats who really run Japan are too opaque with their fiefdoms and secret handshakes now, just wait.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Since the state and large corporations are now joined tightly at the hip, this secrecy law is equally intended to protect them, just as the proposed NSA style agency will also be used to do their bidding. Once invisible, the workings of power will further expand social and environmental injustices.

It's a sad day for the common person and yet this is the result when people do not remain vigilant, do not raise their voices, do not take to the streets and forget the history of sacrifices of the generations before them, while filling their self-absorbed minds with consumer dreams.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Hokkaidoguy seems to miss the point. This will give the j-gov the right to withhold any information THEY decide not to share. That includes information on the current and after effects of Fukushima, any and all financial information, any scandals involving political corruption and anything else they deem unfit for public ears. It's a farce!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

If there's going to be these new laws and NSA style agencies, there should be at least an over sight committee to ensure that the gov't isn't abusing its position.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I guess that'll be the end of the comments section here then....

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@hokkiadoguy

I am still wondering why you would think Japan as it stands could not prosecute anyone for espionage cause it almost sounds the way the article is written that there is a mole selling secrets and it sounds like J Govt is blaming the USA for not keeping J Govt secrets secret. But the article also states that the wording of the secrets bill could include all manner of things like the freedom of speech and personal liberty. This is what all of the agitation is all about...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Welcome to tyranny.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Disillusioned

Japan is a Democracy? really? oops, i mean, Hail to our new overlords!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hokkaido guy

This law addresses a massive gaping hole in Japan's national security that needs closing. Not having it is impeding Japan's ability to work with its allies and is almost certainly leading to an outflow of information that would be considered secret anywhere else in the world.

Good post, trouble is this bill doesn't say that, it is deliberately vague, all encompassing and it's passage is at best being ramrodded through. Politicians already muffle the media here and this bill will further empower them. It's means outweigh it's ends if democracy is to be preserved, I would argue that after the CIA dumped it's millions with the M fund, there hasn't really been true unfettered democracy in Japan (Iran as well). Abe and his ilk are still being digitally controlled by the US, digits being the anatomically correct word.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

they already control nation mind too much , for use (out sides national ) its seem a photo copy mind nation , now in next step policy makers are going to make more good quality and stop miss printing . and nothing else.

i think i stop to wast my mind to share some kind on good opines that i think , why i do it till today because i feel its my second home land .

no regards,

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Anything to cover their asses and line their pockets. So sad that the Japanese government never listens to its people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Amazingly this was not on Abe-san's pre election "promise" to the electorate so how come it is on his agenda now. This is exactly what ALL politicians do. Promise a whole lot of c£%p they have no intention of delivering fully on and then proceed to put in place exactly what they wanted to do in the first place! Imagine if he had been ranting on about this prior to the election. The government opposition won't do anything meaningful to stop it either because they see it as advantageous to themselves should they gain power later on. Meanwhile the citizens of the country are literally powerless once the government has been elected and have to sit and watch as there freedom is slowly and surely taken from them. Its the same in all "Democratic" systems. I know there is nothing out there which is better ut you would think in this day and age that we could come up with something a bit better. All we have accomplished is passing power from one person to a group of persons with the same back slapping agenda. We deserve all we get handed down for allowing these institutions to florish. Shame on us!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Transparency is a critical element for democracy.

"A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

James Madison, Letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yeah Zichi, I agree with that. They need an agency like in Singapore that has the sole purpose of monitoring governmental corruption.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

hokkaidoguyDec. 03, 2013 - 03:19PM JST

and ultimately the courts will rule on what is and is not secret,

No. The secret is not disclosed to the court. The chiefs of government agencies have the power to designate state secrets. What they have to say to the court is that it is secret, and the court has to make judgment based on the fact that it is state secret.

There is also a discussion to create an oversight body in the future after the bill is passed. But the discussed function of the oversight body is limited to the review of the "criteria" of state secret. State secrets are not supposed to be disclosed to the oversight body.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Look Alive, Look Alive 1/8th of J Govt Spending wont be going to looking out for all of the people dealing with the aftermath of the Daiichi accident. That includes the whole population of Japan. J Govt could be purchasing more food testing machines so they are in every school and locals could test their foodstuff for free or Internal Radiation testing machines to test the population at large for free as in the Ukraine BUT Oh No, that Yen is going into keeping it Secret.....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Abe suspects every Japanese to be a Chinese spy. When the emperor is naked, he is afraid of everyone around him.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is total BS! Once they pass this law, any press media writing an article criticizing it will come under fire!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"A controversial state secrets bill is expected to become law in Japan this week despite objections from a broadening coalition"

The straw that breaks the camel's back..... well there goes the truth of information/freedom of the press/human rights out the window, particularly for radiological conditions, earthquake aftermath conditions, food and water conditions, war conditions and aftermath conditions. NOW they have power to hide whatever they want... The people will have to rely on outside Japan sources as usual for the truth

This "state secrets bill" will pave the way for completion of mind control of the inhabitants of Japan, to lead as cattle for the agenda of the J govt. ..I can just see the J-flops, rt wings and chicken wings running with this profiling, the hell out of foreigners...

foreigners are already living on the perimeter of this society...therefore it must be time to evacuate....economically and physically

SAYONARA

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is "yarihodai" (do-as-you-please) for any politician or government agency.

Once this bill is through, they can get away with anything.

This bill is so secret that even the precise definition of what is a secret is not defined.

Allowing this bill through means you are giving the government a blank cheque and a pen to sign it with.

Unless, of course, you completely trust Abe and the guys who are pulling his strings.

Hmmm?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

under that law, the j-gov responds to no one, much less to the people. it is the perfect tool for framing anyone it wants to get rid of, such as anyone who threatens the prime minister's position. truly disgusting and scary. this is really ugly: if you don't obey your betters, your dead. opposition is not opposition, it is now a criminal activity.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is one of the things the people voted for in the last election, whether they like it or not. Prior to the election now Prime Minister Abe said he wanted to win big so that he could control the government without any opposition. And the voters of Japan answered his wish with a landslide victory in his favor. So Abe now has full control ... and he and his Liberal Democratic Party can do as they please.

As was pointed out in a full-page Japan Times article months ago, politicians will give themselves free run of their doings if this law is passed. Everything that they do they will declare that it is a state secret. Even the press will have a difficult time pinning anything on them ... no matter how evil their intentions are.

In the recent public demonstations against the proposed law some of the voters may be awakening to the fact that too much power in the hands of one party may be dangerous ... but it is too late. Abe and his cronies have complete run of the government for at least several more years ... thanks to the voters who voted for them in the last election.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe is a liberal democrat, yet he wishes to rule without telling the populus what he is doing, nor allowing them to oppose it? All he has to do is claim 'STATE SECRETS'. Yeah! That makes sense, doesnt it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, you are right, Zichi. Unfortunately, instead of recognizing the need for a bill in this class and taking the initiative to create a bill with balance, the Japanese left has spent all its time and energy these past 50 years blocking any such bill.

Now, knowing they don't have the political clout to block Abe's bill, they are left with suggesting token amendments and letting it past. We are stuck with Abe's version.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The grounds to be more like the USA should be that the USA should be more like Japan, hence Snowden wouldn't be the thorn in their sides. Openness and light ruins the secrets and whispers of governments, anywhere.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Japanese government is criminal, as is most governments around the world. No matter what law they pass, my rights are natural rights, not rights given by government. I dont recognize the authority of any government and do everything I can to fight back against them. The government is the true terrorist entity in the world, not individuals looking to live a liberty based life.

Government is only powerful beause the populations accept their actions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Is this Himitsu Hogo Ho intended to stop big mouth Aso from speaking out too much? The poster should use Hantai instead of Stop to let public know they are Japanese voters who are not instigated by foreigners.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The only way to stop passage of the Secrets Act is to bring down the Abe Government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really dont see what difference it makes; as a foriegner you dont have many rights anyhow, no right for shelter, limited opportunites for work. As a social outcast, it makes no difference to me if they pass 100 laws, Im a gaijin if its cloudy or sunny, who cares.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If this secrets bill had been bandied about in April 2011. I would have said it was a smoke screen to keep folks from thinking about Daiichi and the nuclear accident. Today that nuclear accident is still ongoing and if this is a smoke screen it is a good one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If this himitsu hogo ho is enacted, any one in government who handle any secrecy, will have their families, their acquaintances are always investigated and surveyed. This means PM, all ministers, many levels of bureaucrats, Their grandchildren, too. Let wait how hush this law will be. Shouldn't have exceptions just because they are big shots. Bureaucrats must be panicked, especially people who love their families..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have been saying this for the longest!!! Whenever I am out and about in this country, I strongly feel this in the air. Bottom line, transparency is important for a government and its people. For ALL people. As most of us know, there will always be people who ridicule and talk down down and negative about someone (haters), whether it be towards a celebrity or a politician. But if it bothers them to the point where they need to pass a secrecy law, then that should put up major red flags for a lot of people. I feel for sorry for the foreigners who will be here the coming years in japan. It seems that someone or something wants total control. I thought they had enough control as it was. I say boycott and take your services elsewhere. Make them have to come to us. Foreigners could do much better elsewhere. We have each other.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Paging Kosuke Snowden, paging Kosuke Snowden.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ch3cho - if that's the way its written, it wont stand up to a court challenge.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Regardless of how this makes Abe looks like a fascist totalitarian, I think this is the Japanese gov taking counter measure actions to protect itself against humanity's criminal organizations such as the NSA on which the American people must be pretty ashamed of.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The government does not have the ability to create law to withold information from the IAEA. If they try, it becomes an issue for the UN.Likewise they cannot pass law that excludes the courts - and ultimately the courts will rule on what is and is not secret, just like in every other country with state secret legislation.The media in japan is livid because they can no longer offer cash, vacations, dinners and presents in exchange for leaks - they have to wait for people to come to them and offer the information for free. Follow the money....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Actually, AFAIK, both sides are right in this. Right now, some laws punish some leakers of secret info, but due to fears over rights so far no law has been passed to punish the obtainer of information. Further, the punishment at one year, when factoring in the Japanese propensity to Suspended Sentences is worthless.

Of course, having breezed through what is proposed, I agree there is room for abuse, However, it is also true that Japan's security issues are worsening by the day.

A lot of the blame for this must be laid down at the feet of the so-called Left Wing, though. Despite the necessity of a law of this general type, so far they have refused to permit one at all. If they had allowed a law through, or god forbid actually propose one themselves on a year when they have clout to control the terms more, a better law may have been passed.

Now they are powerless and Abe knows it. Sigh...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

while at first I thought this law was alarming, I dont think its intention is what the critics are saying it is. There is a problem with state secrets being passed in japan, I think Abe is trying to close it, then the US can trust Japan with its technology. I dont think we will see a crackdown on freespeech; its not the intention of the bill. Least I hope not.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It is the death of democracy in Japan. We will see similar events as in Thailand. If you speak out against the government or the emperor you are labeled a terrorist. At least half the people posting on this site could be arrested.

That's absolute rubbish. The sky isn't falling, no matter how much you wish it was.

Yesterday in Canada the RCMP arrested a nationalized Chinese engineer for trying to sell the specs of Canada's naval fleet to the Chinese government. Because Canada has a state secrets law, the police were able to arrest him. Under the current law, Japan would not have been able to make that investigation and arrest. The proposed law would allow it.

Hand-wringing about the worst case scenario - that Japanese police will be kicking down your door because you wrote "Abe is a poopyhead" on the internet is plain absurd. This law addresses a massive gaping hole in Japan's national security that needs closing. Not having it is impeding Japan's ability to work with its allies and is almost certainly leading to an outflow of information that would be considered secret anywhere else in the world. If it's happening in Canada, you can be damned sure it's happening here.

-12 ( +6 / -17 )

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