Amnesty slams Japan over new secrecy law

(From Kyodo)

Japan has displayed an “intolerance of public criticism” with the introduction of a contentious new secrecy law, Amnesty International said Wednesday in its annual report for 2015.

Protesters in Japan take part in a demonstration against a controversial secrecy law by the government in this file photo

Protesters in Japan take part in a demonstration against a controversial secrecy law by the government in this file photo

The London-based rights group said the law on official secrets, which came into effect in December 2014, could “excessively restrict” the right to access information held by the authorities.

Critics of the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets claim public authorities could withhold information without giving a clear justification, says the report.

Amnesty also raises concern about the lack of oversight of the new law and the threat to journalists trying to report on issues which are genuinely in the public interest. Jail terms for those leaking designated secrets could be up to 10 years.

Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s East Asia director, said Japan is showing “growing intolerance toward criticism and dissent.” Read More



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