No one mentioned and no one seemed affected by alleged shortcomings of the Japanese secrecy law.Such a review reveals that most if not all of the provisions in the Japanese law to which objection has been raised are not present in the objectionable form in the laws of close allies of the United States, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with which the United States has the most complete intelligence information sharing. There are two lines of argument that cast serious doubt on the suggestion that a law deviating in significant ways from best international practice was demanded by the American government as the price of sharing information with the Japanese government on critical national security matters. I visited Japan shortly after the report was completed and was told by many Japanese government officials how pleased they were not only by the outcome of the posture review but by the depth of the consultation. The Tshwane Principles do not permit restrictions on the right to information for national security purposes unless a government can demonstrate that the restriction is prescribed by law and is necessary in a democratic society to protect a legitimate national security interest. That is a positive change from the previous version, which said that a person could be prosecuted if they should have known that they were revealing classified state information. The Japanese government has not backed up this claim by pointing to any public statement by an American government official to this affect. This maximum sentence is significantly longer than the punishment most countries provide. Under the Tshwane Principles, public disclosure of classified or otherwise confidential information that shows wrongdoing should not be subject to criminal or civil charges. The SDS and the draft implementation standards include no consideration for the punishment of inappropriate disclosure to be proportionate to the harm, 50 in stark contrast to the acceptable policies outlined in the Tshwane Principles and reflected in state practice. According to Minister Cwele, the bill introduces protection of valuable information by all organs of state; prevents against the danger of espionage, balances secrecy and openness through a system of declassification of information on a periodic 10 and year basis as well as through the establishment of an independent Classification Review Panel. Any government committed to transparency and democratic governance should examine the Tshwane Principles if it is considering legislation in this area and justify explicitly to its public and parliament any deviation from these principles. As a result, the Protection of State Information Act could severely limit the matters the news media may report about, Human Rights Watch said. Hofsommer is a member of the State Bar of California. During the two-week comment period—which was only half the amount of time normally allocated for comment—government data shows that it received over 90, comments, with almost 70, of those comments opposing the bill.
Penalties for inappropriate disclosure under the Japanese SDS are on the extreme end of those imposed by other US allies. The Protection of State of Information Act aims to regulate the classification of state information.
The CIA argued that the publication made it difficult for the persons named to carry out their functions and placed their lives in jeopardy. Why did the new Japanese government conclude that new secrecy legislation was needed?
As part of the process the administration undertook a full and comprehensive discussion with the Japanese government on American nuclear policy particularly as it related to extended deterrence in Asia.
The legal requirement that requests for declassification be responded to within 14 days of receiving the request known as the "PAIA over-ride".The Tshwane Principles provide limitations on when journalists and private citizens may face criminal prosecution regarding their possession of classified information. Earlier drafts were widely condemned by the media, civil society, and opposition parties because of provisions that undermined the right to access information of public interest. New bill[ edit ] In the mids, a parliamentary review process to replace apartheid laws included a planned repeal and replacement of the Protection of Information Act 84 of The Japanese government did not do so and thus failed in its obligation to its citizens. Several of the Tshwane Principles address the importance of establishing checks and oversight of the designation and maintenance of state secrets. It is unlikely to decline to share information about mutual threats which would be necessary to implement any decision to cooperate. Before the Report was completed, the recommendations, including this one, were discussed with a number of government officials in many different agencies. This is significant because the previous version gave the law precedence over the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
The laws must permit a state to protect secrecy when necessary for the security of the state. During the deliberations of the Commission I proposed a recommendation that the USG consult more intensively with Japan on American nuclear policy.Nonetheless, a democratic government has an obligation to its people to consider the best practices of other democratic governments as it legislates in this area. The current version, while improved, remains unclear on the key question of whether whistleblowers and journalists seeking to expose certain sensitive issues, such as corruption, would be protected under the law, Human Rights Watch said. Under the SDS, criminal penalties may apply to private citizens, including journalists for improperly seeking, holding, or releasing classified information. After all, Japan already had a secrecy law, which punished disclosure of classified information by government officials and, in some circumstances by private citizens, even including members of the press. Committee hearings began in the House of Councilors on November 28, and on December 6, , the bill was voted, unchanged, into law. Currently, Japan has at least four designated authorities responsible for providing oversight to the implementation of the SDS: a council of external advisors and three governmental bodies. As a result, the Protection of State Information Act could severely limit the matters the news media may report about, Human Rights Watch said. In any case, as this article documents, prior to the enactment of the law there was very extensive sharing of the most sensitive information related to nuclear deterrence and many other subjects. As the Abe administration moves to implement the law and to consider revisions, it should consult broadly both within Japan and with international experts so as to move closer to international norms. In responding to the many comments that have been submitted, the Abe Government will have an opportunity to move the legislation closer to international standards. The laws must permit a state to protect secrecy when necessary for the security of the state. Therefore, while a USG official may have suggested in passing to a Japanese government official that information sharing would be easier if Japan tightened its secrecy — and there is nothing on the record to support even this — it is inconceivable that the USG official demanded the specific provisions in dispute in Japan as the price of more intimate sharing of information. That is a positive change from the previous version, which said that a person could be prosecuted if they should have known that they were revealing classified state information. These two examples are representative of how democratic countries deal with proposals to expand laws relating to preventing and punishing the disclosure of classified information.
After all, Japan already had a secrecy law, which punished disclosure of classified information by government officials and, in some circumstances by private citizens, even including members of the press. The points at issue, raised by witnesses and speakers at public hearings, were not given ample time for discussion and the bill was passed through to the upper house of parliament.
Several of the Tshwane Principles address the importance of establishing checks and oversight of the designation and maintenance of state secrets. In any case, as this article documents, prior to the enactment of the law there was very extensive sharing of the most sensitive information related to nuclear deterrence and many other subjects.