Opinion Calling for Repeal of the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets
September 19, 2014
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (“JFBA”) prepared its “Opinion Calling for Repeal of the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (the “Act”)” on September 19, 2014, and submitted the Opinion to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the House of Councilors on September 22, 2014.
The JFBA calls for the repeal of the Act.
There are no specific circumstances present in society which would be grounds to necessitate the enactment of the Act. In addition, even considering the draft of Order for Enforcement of the Act and the draft of “Criteria for Implementing Unified Operations Concerning the Designation and Cancellation of Specially Designated Secrets and the Implementation of the Aptitude Assessment System (provisional title),” etc., and the amendments thereof, the content of the Act still remains to carry the risk of infringing upon the public’s right to know and impeding the information disclosure system as well as the Diet’s monitoring functions over the administration. Furthermore, it cannot be said that there had been sufficient public discussion during the process leading up to the enactment of the Act.
Therefore, as a first step, the Act should be repealed at once, and a public discussion on the necessity and the contents of the system should be conducted newly. Further, even in the case where it is concluded that such a law is necessary as a result of the discussion, provisions which stipulate the public’s right to know and the protection of privacy should be clearly stated in such law in accordance with the “Global Principles on National Security and the Right to Information” (“The Tshwane Principles”).