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Thousands protest in Japan against new state secrets bill, ‘Don't take away our freedom’

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posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 06:37 PM
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Thousands protest in Japan against new state secrets bill

Published time: November 22, 2013 11:46
Edited time: November 22, 2013 16:33
Get short URL


Thousands of people protested in Tokyo against a bill that would see whistleblowing civil servants jailed for up to 10 years. Activists claim the law would help the government to cover up scandals, and damage the country’s constitution and democracy.

According to organizers’ estimates, about 10,000 people crowded shoulder-to-shoulder in the isles of the theater and outside of it, holding banners that read: “Don't take away our freedom.”

“If this law comes to pass, our constitution is nothing more than a scrap of paper,” Reuters reported Yasunari Fujimoto, an activist with the Peace Forum NGO, as saying. "Without the right to know, democracy cannot exist.”


The adoption of the law, proposed by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, would enable the authorities to put civil servants responsible for information leaks behind bars for up to 10 years.

This would seriously threaten the freedom of the press, as Japanese media would face serious problems gathering information on burning issues, because state employees would be reluctant to share information for fear of prosecution.

The proposed law is conceived in such broad terms it allows wide interpretation and could be used for many purposes, for example such as hiding information about the situation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.


PM Shinzo Abe says that the new legislature is extremely important to secure cooperation with Japan’s major ally, the US, as well as other countries.

The data security bill resembles laws targeting whistleblowers in the US, and Abe is also considering setting up an American-style National Security Council, too, Reuters reports.

“We have a right to know everything,” said Akio Hirose, a 54-year-old transport worker, adding that the proposed law is “absolutely unacceptable.”


rt.com...

edit on 22-11-2013 by MariaLida because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 06:44 PM
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Thousands protest against tough new official secrets law in Japan

By Kiyoshi Takenaka

TOKYO Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:44pm EST


(Reuters) - Thousands of people protested in Tokyo on Thursday against a proposed secrets act that critics say would stifle information on issues such as the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The law, proposed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, would significantly broaden the definition of official secrets, which Abe says is vital for strengthening security cooperation with main ally the United States and other countries.

Tough secrecy regulations before and during World War Two have long made such legislation taboo, but the law is expected to pass when it comes to a vote next week, given the comfortable majority the ruling coalition has in both houses of parliament.

"Without the right to know, democracy cannot exist," said Yasunari Fujimoto, from the Peace Forum citizen's group, who spoke at the protest in a park near parliament.

"If this law comes to pass, our constitution is nothing more than a scrap of paper."

Critics say the law would prevent journalists from investigating official mistakes, such as the collusion between regulators and utilities that contributed to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.


www.reuters.com...



posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 06:52 PM
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Very quick Mobilisation and a huge Amount of participating People last Thursday!



posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by MariaLida
 


The elephant in the room is that with Global Dictatorship comes global dictats, its funny how people the world over are losing their freedom at the same time.



posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 07:24 PM
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OneManArmy
reply to post by MariaLida
 


The elephant in the room is that with Global Dictatorship comes global dictats, its funny how people the world over are losing their freedom at the same time.

Thank you! I've been saying that for a long time and nobody seems to twig.



posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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VoidHawk

OneManArmy
reply to post by MariaLida
 


The elephant in the room is that with Global Dictatorship comes global dictats, its funny how people the world over are losing their freedom at the same time.

Thank you! I've been saying that for a long time and nobody seems to twig.


I'm very interesting in your options ..

What you think, way this happening ??

Thank you ..



posted on Nov, 22 2013 @ 08:51 PM
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This is probably 100 percent necessary.

Abe put this idea forward as SFP 4 is being unloaded for a reason. With all the eyes of the world watching this event happen, Abe has to control the information about it.

Many believe this unloading of SFP 4 is Armageddon waiting to happen, some think this is no issue at all. Some think the never ending supply of radiation coming from the failed plant is eventual Armageddon, some do not. Either way, Japan can only survive if it convinces the world, and more importantly the people of Japan, that Fukashima Daichi is not an issue for anyone anywhere.

This draconian measure is aimed at the information coming from that plant. If the plant goes critical, Abe wants to be the one to tell the world - or not tell the world. The last thing Abe wants is a Tweet from a worker telling the world the plant has been abandoned due to catastrophic events.

Like it or not, I am fairly sure this is the reason for the efforts.



posted on Nov, 23 2013 @ 05:30 AM
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Fukushima Daiichi cant be a "State Secret" because it is owned by
a Company, a State Secret is, for example, how much Methane
is under the Islands in the South which are claimed by the Chinese!



posted on Nov, 23 2013 @ 07:24 AM
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Human0815
Fukushima Daiichi cant be a "State Secret" because it is owned by
a Company, a State Secret is, for example, how much Methane
is under the Islands in the South which are claimed by the Chinese!



you should tell that to the people that run your life, your fearless leaders.


sad indeed and the timing is impeccable. i suppose it's still better than the lying sacs of poo in d.c., they don't even come out and say it, your leaders say it out loud, "your secrets are belong to us".



posted on Nov, 23 2013 @ 12:20 PM
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VoidHawk

OneManArmy
reply to post by MariaLida
 


The elephant in the room is that with Global Dictatorship comes global dictats, its funny how people the world over are losing their freedom at the same time.

Thank you! I've been saying that for a long time and nobody seems to twig.



No one here cares anymore. They might discuss the issue, but essentially they don´t give a damn anymore.



posted on Nov, 23 2013 @ 12:32 PM
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johncarter

VoidHawk

OneManArmy
reply to post by MariaLida
 


The elephant in the room is that with Global Dictatorship comes global dictats, its funny how people the world over are losing their freedom at the same time.

Thank you! I've been saying that for a long time and nobody seems to twig.



No one here cares anymore. They might discuss the issue, but essentially they don´t give a damn anymore.


I can only dispute that claim.

You dont speak for me, because I do care. Deeply.
I think half the people are here simply because they do care. The other half try to cover it all up.



posted on Nov, 23 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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Secrecy bill dodges public debate


The speed at which the government is pushing legislation that would curtail public access to information and punish leakers of “special secrets” shows a worrying disregard for public debate, a former U.S. official and democratic governance advocate warns.

“This bill is about as bad as any other that I have seen and what is equally concerning is the speed at which it is being enacted,” Morton Halperin, senior advisor to the Open Society Foundations, which promotes tolerant societies and government accountability, said in an interview recently from his Washington office.

In addition to holding key positions under U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson, Halperin was instrumental in helping launch in June a set of global principles on national security and the right to information that he hopes can serve as a guide for other countries, including Japan.

Known as the Tshwane Principles, it is the culmination of a two-year drafting process by 22 groups to provide rules for balancing the public’s right to know with governments’ need to keep crucial security information confidential.

“Before there is a parliamentary vote (in Japan) there needs to be a public explanation of why we don’t have a public interest override, which is now widespread,” he explained. “Most countries adopting new laws have had a public interest override in the law.”

Under that concept, the public’s need to know must be factored in when governments are considering what information to keep confidential. When public interest trumps government considerations, the information should not be withheld.

Japan-Times

Understanding the Tshwane Principles
Open Society Foundations



posted on Nov, 23 2013 @ 06:48 PM
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There have always been those in power who want all their deeds kept secret for they are the only ones (in their mind) with a need to know. They are the anointed ones who decide for your own good if you have a need to know. In a free society a secret and the purpose of those secrets have legit and nefarious reasons but those who have the most to hide are also the most secretive; for if their plans were known the people would say "no" and cause problems for TPTB.

To CYA the government classifies the most mundane things "secret" and if I ever became emperor that stuff would stop and whistle blowers would be rewarded instead of persecuted as we see today. We either have a representative government or we don't...and by all indications, on the surface they say we do, but underneath all the hoopla and propaganda there are those who think nothing of breaking existing laws to further their agenda; whatever that might be..... and regardless of the indicated 'will' of the people in many cases...

Nothing new just more "in your face" these days or maybe because of the internet we are more aware. The question is how to change the system without dying in the process like Kennedy.

edit on 23-11-2013 by 727Sky because: ..



posted on Nov, 23 2013 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by 727Sky
 

Focus word.

nefarious

Japan and most of the USA's allies have already buried much beneath the rose.



posted on Nov, 24 2013 @ 02:34 PM
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The bilderbergers own japan? Wow, who would of known? I am really glad thousands are protesting against this POS legislation. Someday it might be millions.

Just goes to show americans dont own squat. They only think they do. And people blaming america for everything dont know squat either.
edit on 24/11/13 by EarthCitizen07 because: minor edit



posted on Nov, 24 2013 @ 02:37 PM
link   

crankyoldman
This is probably 100 percent necessary.

Abe put this idea forward as SFP 4 is being unloaded for a reason. With all the eyes of the world watching this event happen, Abe has to control the information about it.

Many believe this unloading of SFP 4 is Armageddon waiting to happen, some think this is no issue at all. Some think the never ending supply of radiation coming from the failed plant is eventual Armageddon, some do not. Either way, Japan can only survive if it convinces the world, and more importantly the people of Japan, that Fukashima Daichi is not an issue for anyone anywhere.

This draconian measure is aimed at the information coming from that plant. If the plant goes critical, Abe wants to be the one to tell the world - or not tell the world. The last thing Abe wants is a Tweet from a worker telling the world the plant has been abandoned due to catastrophic events.

Like it or not, I am fairly sure this is the reason for the efforts.


Necessary only for tyrants!!
edit on 24/11/13 by EarthCitizen07 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 24 2013 @ 02:42 PM
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EarthCitizen07
The bilderbergers own japan? Wow, who would of known? I am really glad thousands are protesting against this POS legislation. Someday it might be millions.

Just goes to show americans dont own squat. They only think they do. And people blaming america for everything dont know squat either.
edit on 24/11/13 by EarthCitizen07 because: minor edit


People dont blame America, they blame the American Government.
Its a vast difference.
The citizens of countries the world over dont have a clue what their governments are doing.



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 06:49 AM
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Japan moves to enact strict secrets act despite press freedom fears


TOKYO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Japan on Tuesday moved closer towards a law that would expand the definition of state secrets and raise penalties for leaks, a provision critics say will block access to information on sensitive areas, including the nuclear industry. Parliament's lower house approved the state secrets act after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party agreed last week to revisions with small, conservative opposition parties.

Opponents of the legislation say the changes were cosmetic and failed to address basic concerns on civil liberties and the public's right to know.

The bill now goes before parliament's upper house, where it is likely to pass without dfficulty.

reuters fresh


“Prime Minister Abe’s government wants to tighten access to information and punish journalists or whistleblowers who reveal facts that may be in the public interest,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“If the government isn’t prepared to bring the draft law into line with Japan’s international human rights commitments, the Diet should vote it down.”

Japan already has a comprehensive set of laws that regulate classification of sensitive information. The bill would impose even more serious penalties for leaking information that merely caused an “obstacle” to national security, without requiring any showing of harm or weighing such harm against the public’s right to know matters of importance to a democracy.

Under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, to which Japan is a party, states may only limit access to information when “necessary” to protect national security, and only through the least restrictive measures, consistent with respect for other rights in a democracy.

The Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, an influential set of principles issued in 1996 by experts in international law on the applicability of human rights protections to national security information, provide that “To establish that a restriction… is necessary to protect a legitimate national security interest, a government must demonstrate that: (a) the expression or information at issue poses a serious threat to a legitimate national security interest.”

The draft bill also punishes those who leak “special secrets” with up to 10 years in prison and a 10 million yen fine (US$100,000) but does not protect whistleblowers who disclose evidence of wrongdoing to the public. International standards require that whistleblowers be protected from criminal liability when the public’s interest in their revelations outweighs the harm caused by their disclosure.

Eurasia



The Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information
Reference

It is still difficult to make Fukushima Daiichi itself to a "Secret of the State"
but i am, we are concerned!
edit on 26-11-2013 by Human0815 because: For the Reference link

edit on 26-11-2013 by Human0815 because: format

edit on 26-11-2013 by Human0815 because: fixだぃんk



posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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Secrecy law approved in Japan

Nov 26, 9:17 AM EST

Japan secrecy law stirs fear of limits on freedoms

hosted.ap.org...


TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's more powerful lower house of Parliament approved a state secrecy bill late Tuesday that imposes stiffer penalties on bureaucrats who leak secrets and journalists who seek them, despite criticism the government is making a heavy-handed effort to hide what it's doing and suppress press freedom.

The public is concerned because the government won't say exactly what becomes secret. Critics say the law could allow the government to withhold more information and ultimately undermine Japan's democracy.


Secrecy law approved in Japan — AP: Prison for ‘inappropriate reporting’ — Official: We’re on path to be fascist state — Fear Fukushima cover-ups to worsen

enenews.com... e-fukushima-cover-ups



posted on Dec, 1 2013 @ 05:09 AM
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The new Uzbekistan of press freedom in Asia


If you’re living in Japan, you may be surprised to know that your right to know has been replaced by the right to remain silent. Shhh … don’t protest. It’s practically a done deal.

The first rule of the pending state secrets bill is that a secret is a secret. The second rule is that anyone who leaks a secret and/or a reporter who makes it public via a published report or broadcast can face up to 10 years in prison. The third rule is that there are no rules as to which government agencies can declare information to be a state secret and no checks on them to determine that they don’t abuse the privilege; even defunct agencies can rule their information to be secret. The fourth rule is that anything pertaining to nuclear energy is a state secret, which means there will no longer be any problems with nuclear power in this country because we won’t know anything about it. And what we don’t know can’t hurt us.

The right to know has now officially been superseded by the right of the government to make sure you don’t know what they don’t want you to know.

Welcome to the new Dark Ages of Japan, brought to you by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito and Your Party. If the economy and the actions of the government and its politicians seemed opaque up to now, the ruling bloc is making sure that it’s very solid obsidian. Every major news organization in Japan opposes the bill. Last week, thousands of ordinary citizens took to the street to protest the proposed legislation.

Japan Times



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