The vote held on 6 December 2013 for the Special Law on Protecting State Secrets (tokutei himitsu hogo hô) has been surrounded by a lively debate in Japan: both the Japanese political left and right have not hesitated to define this hastily voted law as anti-democratic as it provides heavy sanctions against any person disclosing, without authorisation, documents or information deemed confidential, without providing a clear definition for the concept of “State secret”. Issue 33 of Japan Analysis will explore the national and international challenges faced by a law designed to coincide with the creation of a Japanese National Security Council and to facilitate information exchange with the United States in the wake of the Snowden affair, despite being likely to reduce access to detailed information on the health and environmental impact of the Fukushima disaster. The issue is based on the translation and analysis of views supporting and opposing the law, with particular reference to journalism practices in Japan and the current East Asian diplomatic context.
– CLOSE UP ON THE NEWS –
Understanding the mistrust surrounding the law on protecting specific secrets (César Castellvi)
Electing Tokyo’s Governor: Hosokawa Morihiro and Koizumi Junichirō’s lost bet (Xavier Mellet)
– POINTS OF NEWS–
Interview with Ishiba Shigeru and Tamura Shigenobu, “Progress in information transparency with the law on protecting specific secrets”, Will, February 2014 (Translated by Amélie Corbel)
Interview with Murai Tomohide, “Anti-Japanese manoeuvres, espionage… Japan devoured”, Chūō Kōron, December 2013 (Translated by Antonin Francesch)