[RT] Fuk-‘hush’-ima: Japan’s new state secrets law gags whistleblowers, raises press freedom fears

[RT]
Fuk-‘hush’-ima: Japan’s new state secrets law gags whistleblowers, raises press freedom fears
Many issues of national importance to Japan, probably including the state of the Fukushima power plant, may be designated state secrets under a new draft law. Once signed, it could see whistleblowers jailed for up to 10 years. Currently only issues of defense can be designated state secret in Japan, and non-military leakers face a jail term of up to one year. Defense officials may be sentenced to five years for exposing secrets, or 10 years, if the classified information they leaded came from the US military.

The new law would enact harsher punishment to leakers, but more importantly, it would allow government branches other than defense ministry designate information as state secrets. The bill names four categories of ‘special secrets’, which would be covered by protection – defense, diplomacy, counter-terrorism and counter-espionage.

Under the new legislation a ministry may classify information for a five-year term with a possibility of prolongation to up to 30 years. After that a cabinet ruling would be needed for the secret to be treated as such, but there is no limit for how long information may be kept under a lid. http://rt.com/news/japan-state-secrets-law-712/