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Mizuho Fukushima, Social Democratic Party
Ryo Shuhama, People's Life Party
Sohei Nihi, Japanese Communist Party
Taro Yamamoto, Independent

by Natalie-Kyoko Stucky and Jake Adelstein
Japan Subculture Research Center

A committee within Japan’s lower house is currently deliberating a new bill that will punish leakers of designated “special” state secrets. The LDP Cabinet recently approved a bill to punish civil servants, lawmakers, and journalists who leak information that it deems will harm national security. The government will be able to determine what they will call “special secret”— almost without limit— because the definition of these possible secrets are “too broad and vague”, according to critics of the new bill. The Abe administration says that the secrecy bill is necessary to protect sensitive information given to Japan by the United States and other foreign countries.

Four lawmakers from four different political parties, briefed reporters today on the dangers of the Designated Secrets Bill at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan (FCCJ). Earlier this week, the FCCJ issued a strong statement of opposition to the bill as well.

Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party and wife of a famous anti-nuclear lawyer explained, “This bill represents a great threat to journalism.” A citizen or journalist investigating an arbitrarily declared state secret who reveals it could be prosecuted and jailed for up to 10 years. “The criteria for prosecuting an individual are too vague,” she added. “If a journalist or a member of an NGO accidentally overheard a state secret, he/she would be prosecuted.” Fukushima explained that if a lawmaker got hold of a state secret and wants to reveal it, he/she could also be prosecuted.

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Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, told attendees at an FCCJ press conference that religious and racial hate is increasing rapidly on the internet, and claimed that some social media companies are failing to do their part to halt it.

 

 

Nuclear energy to save the world?

by Justin McCurry

A renowned documentary filmmaker undergoes an epiphany; his new film avers that advances in nuclear energy are an answer to climate change

Anxiety over the dangers of nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown is overshadowing the far more urgent problem of climate change, according to the filmmaker Robert Stone.

In a recent appearance at the FCCJ to promote his new documentary, Pandora’s Promise, the U.S.-based director suggested that opinion among environmentalists was shifting towards an acceptance – at least in private – that without nuclear in the energy mix, combating global warming will be impossible.   Read the rest of the Number 1 Shimbun article

 

 

Hiroshi Mikitani, the acquisitive CEO of e-retailer Rakuten and one of Japan's richest men, spoke at the Club on September 20 in his capacity as the leader of JANE, the organization he founded reportedly as a challenge to Keidanren, or the Japan Business Association, the country's most influential large corporates association.

He expressed his satisfaction with the moves of Prime Minister Abe to stimulate the economy, told of his belief that Japan still has what it takes to compete in the world, and his suggestions to the government to overhaul the English-teaching curriculum in Japanese schools.

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