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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 April 3 - 9  > Economic secrecy bill aims to facilitate weapons development with allies
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2024 April 3 - 9 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Economic secrecy bill aims to facilitate weapons development with allies

April 3, 2024

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Shiokawa Tetsuya on April 2 opposed the bill on economic secrets, which is currently being discussed in the Diet, as it “aims to promote weapons development in cooperation with allies and like-minded countries.”

Shiokawa, at a joint meeting of the Lower House Committees on the Cabinet and on Economy and Industry, revealed that the U.K. government, a joint developer of next-generation fighter jets, urges Japan to introduce a “security clearance” system for corporate employees who may handle sensitive economic information and to strengthen the protection of information on defense technology.

Shiokawa noted that in regard to the next-generation fighter aircraft to be developed jointly with the U.K. and Italy (Global Combat Aviation Program: GCAP), British Ambassador to Japan Julia Longbottom in several interviews suggested that a mechanism for a smooth transfer of defense technology among the countries concerned is essential for the success of the GCAP. She also mentioned that the U.K. government will support the introduction of the SC system to Japanese industries.

Shiokawa stated that the bill to protect the secrecy of economic information “is reflective of U.K. demands.”

In response, Iida Yoichi, director general for economic security policy at the Cabinet Secretariat, only said, “I’m not aware of the details of the ambassador’s remarks.”

Shiokawa pointed out that a treaty on the establishment of a GCAP International Government Organization (GIGO), which has been submitted to the current Diet session, has provisions for the protection of confidential information. He said, “The bill would promote weapons development through multilateral cooperation, and thus is unacceptable.”

Past related articles:
> Bill on economic secrets would abuse corporate employees’ privacy [March 28, 2024]
> Shiokawa calls for scrapping bill to expand state secret protection law to economic field [March 20, 2024]

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