Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 December 4 - 10  > Secrets law could restrict investigations into SDF-related accidents
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2013 December 4 - 10 [SDF]

Secrets law could restrict investigations into SDF-related accidents

December 4, 2013
A state secrets law could significantly restrict investigative efforts into crimes and accidents involving the Self-Defense Forces because it would automatically label and hide nearly 60,000 pieces of defense-related information as “special secrets”.

On February 19, 2008, the Maritime SDF Aegis-equipped destroyer Atago collided with the fishing boat Seitoku-Maru on the sea off Chiba Prefecture, resulting in the death of the captain and his son. The high court this year acquitted Atago’s two officers, and the ruling was finalized.

In order to determine the cause of the collision, the court deliberations focused on the exact courses taken by the Atago and Seitoku-Maru. As evidence, the court accepted information regarding the Atago’s motion performance, equipment installed on its bridge and Combat Information Center (CIC), and the condition of its radar display unit.

The state secrets protection bill designates such information related to the MSDF vessels’ structure, performance, and operations as “special secrets.”

Lawyer Tagawa Shun’ichi said that the court must be able to examine such defense-related information in a maritime accident case in order to determine the facts and to prevent similar accidents from occurring. “Special secrets” should not be treated as untouchable in court, he stressed.

Past related issue:
> Maritime law again downplayed in lawsuit over MSDF Aegis crash killing 2 fishermen (June 12, 2013)

> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved