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DISPATCHES

 

A regular up-date featuring articles written for publications

all over the world by FCCJ Correspondents

According to Justin McCurry in the Christian Science Monitor, more than 80 percent of the public want the secrecy law changed and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's popularity has plummeted

The day after Japan's parliament approved a controversial secrecy law, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attempted to banish the mental clutter of governance with Zen meditation at a Tokyo temple. After meditating, Mr. Abe said that the end of the bill's stormy passage into law last week after days of angry protests "felt as though a storm had passed." Read the article

 

End of Japan's Postwar Pacifism?

More on the Abe administration's secrecy bill, from Martin Fackler in the New York Times.

The secrecy bill, which sped through the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday and is expected to pass the upper house soon, is considered an initial step in Mr. Abe's efforts to turn Japan into what some here call a more "normal" nation, with fewer restrictions on its ability to protect itself and able to assume a greater regional role.  Read the article

Bureaucrats love their secrets

In the Swiss daily Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Patrick Zoll writes of opposition lawmakers' fears that the government's proposed secrecy bill would give too much room for interpretation to the bureaucracy.

Der Plan war wohl, die Sache schnell und praktisch unbemerkt durchs Parlament zu schleusen. Vor drei Wochen hatte die japanische Regierung ihren Entwurf für ein Geheimhaltungsgesetz ins Parlament eingebracht. Bis Anfang Dezember soll es verabschiedet werden. Da Abes Liberaldemokratische Partei (LDP) zusammen mit der Koalitionspartnerin Komeito in beiden Häusern eine komfortable Mehrheit hat, steht dem rein formell wenig im Weg. Read the article

The New York Times' editorial calls the bill "illiberal" and fears it will make the government even more "opaque" with its threats of jail for journalists and whistleblowers.

The Japanese government is poised to enact a secrecy law that will undermine the people's right to know. The law will give all government ministries the right to classify information related to defense, diplomacy, counterintelligence and counterterrrorism as a state secret. But there is no guideline as to what constitutes a secret.    Read the article

 

 

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