Japan enacts state secrets law late Friday night amid revolt — “It criminalizes investigative journalism” — Terrorism defined as “imposing one’s opinions on others”

Published: December 6th, 2013 at 5:49 pm ET


Japan Times, Dec. 6, 2013: Following political turmoil that rocked the Diet over the past week, ruling block Upper House members finally enacted the contentious state secrets bill late Friday night. Earlier in the day, opposition parties intensified their protests in vain over a law that’s being criticizing for not creating an independent oversight body capable of preventing the government from hiding inconvenient information at its discretion.

Businessweek, Dec. 6, 2013: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe secured final passage of a bill granting Japan’s government sweeping powers to declare state secrets, a measure aimed at shoring up defense ties with the U.S. that prompted a public backlash and revolt by the opposition.

Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 6, 2013: Kazuo Shii, chief of the Japanese Communist Party, described the ruling coalition’s behavior as “tyrannical, arrogant and disorderly.” The ruling coalition believed prolonging the Diet debate any longer could backfire, only fueling the mushrooming opposition to the bill, and lead to a further decline in approval ratings for Abe’s Cabinet and hold on power. An Asahi Shimbun survey taken between Nov. 30-Dec. 1 showed the Cabinet’s approval rating at 49 percent, dipping below 50 percent for the first time since he took power in December 2012. Officials in the Abe administration foresee the public eventually forgetting about the controversy, once the legislation is approved.

GlobalPost, Dec. 6, 2013: Here are four disturbing ways the bill could be a democracy muzzler. It defines terrorism as imposing one’s opinions on others […] According to Article 12, terrorism is partially defined as an activity that forces “political and other principles or opinions on the state or other people.” In other words, throw up a rowdy anti-government protest, and the judiciary can find a reason to lock you away. It criminalizes investigative journalism […] Journalists can be prosecuted for “improperly accessing” classified documents or “conspiring” to leak them. Even asking an official to take a look at classified documents could constitute “conspiracy,” leading to up to five years in prison. “Instigating” the release of government secrets, meanwhile, carries up to 10 years in the dock. […] Basically, anything can be a secret […] administrators can make the opaque decisions to classify a document even if their work hardly relates to national security. That effectively allows them to hide any embarrassing piece of evidence, and then pursue the journalists and bloggers who make it public. […]

See also: [intlink id=”japan-official-this-is-the-way-the-reign-of-terror-begins-lawmaker-physically-restrained-as-secrets-bill-rammed-through-final-passage-expected-in-hours-photos” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: December 6th, 2013 at 5:49 pm ET


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181 comments to Japan enacts state secrets law late Friday night amid revolt — “It criminalizes investigative journalism” — Terrorism defined as “imposing one’s opinions on others”

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    That just about includes the average American belief system concerning military engagement or our oversees lifestyle… 🙁

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

    "In December 2011, President Obama signed the 2012 NDAA, codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA's dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally."

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    As the U.S. Patriot Act criminalized attempts to "intimidate or coerce a civilian population," "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion" long before Japan criminalized attempts to "impose" “political and other principles or opinions on the state or other people,” the first people bombed by nuclear were the good citizens of New Mexico, and those downwind. They named this bombing of innocent babies, children, women and men after God: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_(nuclear_test)

    The nuclear mafia is global. The good citizens of every nation around the world are its victims.


    I believe like others that this new state secrets law in Japan will effect peoples ability to share radiation readings. Lets see how long before the announce that. People better not think that this will not happen in the U.S. too, because I believe it will.

    Everyone needs their own geiger counter, protect yourself!

    • vicky13 vicky13

      HI WWJD,,

      I was thinking the same thing. I hope you guys at NETC have the site fully secured and backed up on a daily basis.

      I think NETC would be targeted at some point.

      Also we should think seriously of fall back plans in case Enenews goes dark at some point.

      I have mentioned this before, about having a backup site so people can stay together if something happens.

      I created a Yahoogroup if we ever need it, all setup and ready to go.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    U.S. should carve out a land mass the size of Japan and give it to them.

  • Nick

    US to soon pass secrecy act.

    Martial law next.

    Hip hip horray!!!

    Man, I love these nuclear guys.

    Japan, you rock!

    Way to go.

    • Cisco Cisco

      Nick…No need for a special secrecy act/law. The Patriot Act does the job perfectly. And, the bonus is Gitmo if you're on their sh#t list.

      The USA is already there.

  • cooterboy

    911 was the beginning to the end of our slowly eroding civil rights and the implementation of Homeland Security. The Patriot Act then was given to HS for implementation without any oversight from congress.
    Our congress, will tell you that in order for the government to protect you it has to employ whatever means to fight terrorism. What a crock.

    It use to be that the government had to present articles to prosecute an individual. Now YOU will have to present articles that you are not a terrorist. Next thing your sitting in a CIA base in Poland.

  • Max1 Max1

    Japan’s controversial new state secrets law was condemned Saturday as “the largest ever threat to democracy in postwar Japan” by a group of academics, including two Nobel prize winners, reports said.

    Japan’s controversial new state secrets law condemned as ‘the largest ever threat to democracy in postwar Japan’ by Nobel academics

    On Friday Japan’s parliament adopted a new law handing out stiffer penalties for those who spill state secrets, despite a public outcry over fears the legislation was draconian and would impinge on press freedom and the public’s right to know.

    In a strongly worded attack on the new law, a group of 31 academics, including Nobel Prize winners Toshihide Maskawa and Hideki Shirakawa, accused the Japanese government of threatening “the fundamental human rights and pacifist principles” established by the country’s constitution.

  • Jebus Jebus

    Asahi Shimbun will continue to respond to the public's right to know

    A law that places much of the information that forms the basis for public debate into a box called “state secrets” is essentially at odds with the close to 70 years of democracy in Japan since the end of World War II.

    We will continue to express our opposition to this law–and we will continue with our reporting in response to the people’s right to know.


  • Fukushima Daiichi Equals 50 Plus Chernobyls; via @AGreenRoad

    The Nuclear Industry Cult Of Death and Global Armageddon; via @AGreenRoad

  • pkjn

    Japanese parliament passes secrets law
    December 7, 2013 Sky News Australia

    Critics point to the way that Tokyo withheld news of the severity of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011, and say a state that already operates largely behind closed doors will become even more secretive.

    The bill allows for jail terms of up to 10 years for those convicted of leaking state secrets, as well as for those who acquire secrets through illegal means – for example through trespass.

    Anyone found guilty of encouraging someone to leak a state secret could face up to 5 years in jail, a provision that has drawn howls of protest from journalists, lawyers and academics.


  • unincredulous unincredulous

    I just realized that Japan just outlawed government of any sort. The barbarians are taking over. Biggest stick is all that matters. Most money, biggest lies, etc. Pity, the big boys, with all that money, could develop no cultural ties to the human race. No culture and no class. Just ego, that's it. That's all they can muster. Hard to save face when you are an ass, not a face.

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    An example of what an investigative reporter is:


    Michael Ruppert's website from the wilderness dot com is nowadays more or less just an archive. He fled the country years ago for his investigations into corruptions. (US corruption)

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Basic description of the state of investigative journalism in U.S.A.


    Remember when the talking head reporting the "found" names of the crew of a crashed plane? They didn't even think apparently, and reported crew names like "Ho Li Fuk" and "Wi To Lo." This is a really disgusting trend.

  • paschn

    “It criminalizes investigative journalism”

    Hmm, Are you certain this is Japan we're talking about? Sounds like the U.S. Here, though, the corporations which own the media simply tell them do it and your gone….. seems to work for them.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Yes, we have reached the environmental tipping point and its directly downhill from now on for all biological life still left on this planet. It won't be long now… 🙁

  • yohananw

    Erik Slavin. Stars and Stripes. Legal experts worry Japan's secrecy law may silence journalists. December 17, 2013. http://kanto.stripes.com/news/legal-experts-worry-japans-secrecy-law-may-silence-journalists

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Already silenced… 🙁