Bill to amend SDF Law will black out defense information: JCP

In the House of Representatives Special Committee discussion on a bill to
amend the Self-Defense Forces Law, the Japanese Communist Party criticized
the bill for being intended to black out information on defense.

The government has proposed the amendment to allow the SDF to more
heavily guard the U.S. Forces stationed in Japan in relation to their
anti-terrorist military action. The bill imposes controls on citizens to ban
them from obtaining information about U.S. Forces and the SDF.

Akamine Seiken of the JCP in the committee meeting on October 16 said
that the bill with its proposal for heavier punishment against the leak of
confidential defense information will help keep the public, mass media and
parliament uninformed.

The bill stipulates that anyone can be punished for supposedly leaking
defense information. Akamine said that this clause is copied from the 1985
national secrets bill, proposed by the Liberal Democratic Party but which
was then scrapped amid popular objection.

He criticized the government for intending the defense information
blackout to profit from anti-terrorist measures. Defense Agency Director
General Nakatani Gen said that the bill under discussion is different from
the 1985 bill which violated people's rights. (end)