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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 November 20 - 26  > SDF captain voices concern over gov’t secrets bill
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2013 November 20 - 26 TOP3 [SDF]

SDF captain voices concern over gov’t secrets bill

November 26, 2013
A high-ranking Japan Self-Defense Forces officer in an Akahata interview on November 26 said that the SDF will probably charge people with leaking secret easily by giving a broad interpretation of the secrecy law.

Captain Shimada Yuichi of the Ground SDF Camp Kasumigaura is now waging a court battle against the state because he unfairly received a suspension order and harassment after exposing SDF wrongdoing.

In 2007 when Shimada worked at the SDF Saitama Provincial Cooperation Office, he discovered dishonest behavior in the SDF in the procedure of nominating civilian individuals to award an imperial medal for their cooperation in SDF’s recruiting activities. When he requested his senior officer to stop such behavior, he was suspended from his workplace. Furthermore, he faced harassment from senior officers and higher authorities in the SDF. Shimada in October 2012 filed with the Tokyo District Court a lawsuit seeking state compensation for damages caused by the unfair suspension and harassment.

Shimada stored in a personal computer at his workplace materials proving SDF’s unjust selection of nominees for the medal and the resultant unfair treatment against him. The SDF questioned him for suspicion of “leaking secrets”.

When Shimada told the press about his legal battle, the military authorities notified him that he would be disciplined for violation of SDF instructions on public relations and secret protection.

The captain pointed out, “In the SDF, convenient interpretations of SDF regulations and instructions are used for disciplinary actions in order to hide any abuse of power and misbehavior.”

“If such a military institution obtains legal power under secrecy legislation which ambiguously covers a broad range of information, it could easily punish its personnel and arrest civilians by stretching the law to suit its purposes,” he said.
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