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Monday, December 02, 2013, 12:00 - 14:00

"Why the State Secrecy Bill Matters to Us All ?"

Tsutomu Shimizu, Lawyer
Keiichi Kiriyama, Editorial Writer, Tokyo Shimbun
Yukiko Miki, Director, Access-Info Clearing House Japan

Language: The speech and Q&A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

 The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems determined to enact a controversial state secrecy protection law. The bill was passed by the Lower House on November 26th and the LDP, aided by its coalition partner Komeito, is expected to secure its final approval by the end of the current Diet session on December 6.

 As the Diet's deliberations progress, criticisms that the law undermines the public's right to know have been growing. If enacted, government ministries will have the right to classify information related to defense, diplomacy, counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism as state secrets.As there are no guidelines as to what precisely constitutes a secret, however, critics say it will enable the government to conceal any information that it deems "inconvenient."

 With the Upper House due to begin deliberations next week, three distinguished speakers - all outspoken critics of the bill - will appear at the FCCJ.

 Tsutomu Shimizu is a lawyer and secretary general of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations' project team opposing the state secrets legislation. Shimizu, who has extensive experience of dealing with police abuse cases, will talk about the bill's implications for police investigations.

 Yukiko Miki is president of citizens group Access-Info Clearing House Japan, which specializes in pressing the government to disclose information. Miki maintains that Japan's freedom of information legislations does not fully guarantee the public access to government information to begin with and, if the secrecy bill is enacted, it will make it even harder to gain access to information.

 Keiichi Kiriyama is an editorial writer for the Tokyo Shimbun, which publicly opposes the secrecy bill and has run a series of articles pointing out problems with the legislation. Kiriyama will talk about how the bill threatens the freedom of the press as well as the people's right to know.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website(still & TV cameras inclusive). The charge for members/non-members is 1,700/2,600 yen; non-members eligible to attend may pay in cash. (Menu: sautéed salmon with sauce beurre noisette) Reservations canceled less than one hour in advance for working press members, and 24 hours for all others, will be charged in full. Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. For meal service, please enter the room by 12:25.

Professional Activities Committee

Dec 02 13 PL Tsutom Shimizu  Keiichi KiriyamaYukiko Miki032 Dec 02 13 PL Tsutom Shimizu  Keiichi KiriyamaYukiko Miki022 Dec 02 13 PL Tsutom Shimizu  Keiichi KiriyamaYukiko Miki056

Tsutomu Shimizu               Keiichi Kiriyama                 Yukiko Miki

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