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2014 February 12 - 18 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Secrecy law faces court battle questioning its constitutionality

February 14, 2014
A Shizuoka lawyer on February 13 filed a lawsuit against the government with the Shizuoka District Court, seeking an injunction to block the state secrets law from coming into force as it violates the Japanese Constitution.

Lawyer Fujimori Katsumi said this is the first court case over the secrecy law which was forcibly enacted late last year.

Fujimori asserted that the law is invalid because it leaves open the possibility of expanding the scope of secrets and giving excessive power to intelligence organs in violation of the right to freedom of thought and belief.

He pointed out that in criminal trials for persons who are accused of violating this law, lawyers may face a charge as well for gathering necessary evidence in defense. The secrecy legislation in this regard will trample on accused persons’ right to defend themselves, he added.

After filing the case in court, Fujimori held a press conference and said, “I’m very concerned that one day Japan’s sovereignty will be shifted from the people to government bureaucrats.”
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