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2013 December 11 - 17 TOP3 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Police encouraged internal spying in nuclear energy agency

December 16, 2013
The security police had encouraged a nuclear energy-related organization to have its workers spy on colleagues who were members of the Japanese Communist Party. This was revealed by Akahata on December 15 based on a document it obtained.

That is an internal document of the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC, currently the Japan Atomic Energy Agency). Marked “confidential”, it was supposedly written by the late Nishimura Shigeo in December 1983 when he was personnel section chief at the PNC’s office in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The document records a report made by “Sergeant Ueda” of the Ibaraki Prefectural Police Department to PNC officials dealing with labor affairs.

Ueda reported, according to the document, that the security police was placing “a total of 60-some people” to monitor workers who were allegedly union members as well as supporters or members of the JCP at offices of the PNC and the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute in Tokai Village.

The police sergeant in the document is quoted, “Information obtained through filters has limitations. The key to collecting credible information is to directly communicate (with members of unions and the JCP).”

The state secrets protection law, enacted earlier this month, gives exemption or reduction of punishments for “voluntary surrender,” which could encourage anonymous tip-offs and spying activities among the public.

Under the new law, those who discuss their intention to collect information designated as “secrets” will be subject to punishment even if they did not actually obtain such information. The punishment, under Article 26 of the law, will be reduced or exempted if they report such conversations to police.

This provision is to give a stamp of approval to illegal information gathering by the security police, said Lawyer Mori Takahiro, who is secretary general of an in-house team with the Japan Lawyers Association for Freedom against the secrets protection law.

Past related article:
> Nuclear Fuel Company colludes with police in monitoring employees using excuse of antiterrorism (November 29, 2013)
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