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2013 October 30 - November 5 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

All bar associations protest against secrets protection bill

October 29 and 30, 2013
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations and all of its 52 member associations expressed their opposition to proposed legislation to solidify national secrets protection.

After Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s government made public an outline of a state secrets bill in September, 21 local bar associations issued statements in protest against the bill.

The Fukuoka Prefectural Bar Association on October 11 argued that the bill, if enacted, will severely infringe on people’s right to know and go against the principle of popular sovereignty.

Nagano Prefectural Bar Association Chair Suwa Masaaki on October 28 expressed his protest against the bill which was approved by the Cabinet three days earlier.

Suwa said that he, as a legal expert, can never accept the bill because it is in preparation for military cooperation with the United States and therefore it is inconsistent with the peace principle of the Japanese Constitution.


An opinion poll that the Kyodo News Service conducted on October 26 and 27 shows that more than half (50.6%) of the respondents opposed the bill while 35.9% of them supported it. The percentage of those who responded that the bill should not be enacted without a full and thorough discussion is 82.7%, far exceeding the percentage of those who called for the enactment of the bill in the current Diet session, 12.9%.
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