FACT FILE: State secrets protection bill

November 08, 2013


Under the bill, Cabinet ministers and other heads of the government’s executive branches would designate information whose leakage could jeopardize Japan’s national security as “specified secrets.”

The specified secrets would cover four areas: defense; diplomacy; prevention of spying and other specified harmful activities; and prevention of terrorism.

The specified secrets would pertain to information handled by public servants, police officials and contractors.

If these people leak specified secrets, they could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

The bill says the government would pay due consideration to freedom of news gathering and reporting concerning the people’s right to know.

News gathering activities would be considered legitimate, unless they violate rules and laws or are done in a notably improper manner.

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