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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 6 - 12  > Bill aimed at promoting R&D of military-related technology should be abolished
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2022 April 6 - 12 [POLITICS]

Bill aimed at promoting R&D of military-related technology should be abolished

April 9, 2022

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

A bill which makes it possible to incorporate economy and science technology into the military sector on the pretext of Japan’s economic security on April 7 went through the House of Representatives.

The government explains that the aim of the bill is to ensure a steady supply of “specified important goods”. However, the bill fails to give a definition of such goods and mentions the food/energy self-sufficiency rate which is absolutely vital for the survival of the general public. On top of this, although the government claims that the bill is necessary to prevent “external activities that pose threats to the safety of the nation and the people”, the bill does not provide a detailed explanation of these activities.

In contrast, Diet deliberations revealed that the bill is designed to promote R&D of military-related technology. Under the bill, the government will specify “key technology” and finance development of dual-use items using this technology from a “designated fund”. The government will impose confidentiality of regulations on people who deal with sensitive information regarding the development.

In this regard, Minister in charge of economic security Kobayashi Takayuki in the Diet discussion said that the government plans to consider introducing a probe system to determine the eligibility of people who have access to sensitive or confidential information. Under the system, targeted persons will be forced to answer questions concerning their family members, friendships, lifestyle, and other personal information. This will lead to an expansion of the controversial state secrets protection law.

Under the bill, a patent non-disclosure system will be introduced which enables the government to conceal patents containing military-related technology information as state secrets. This will drastically change the current patent system which allows free access to patent documents in principle to one similar to the pre-war secret patent system.

The bill should be abolished in the House of Councilors.

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