Editors of Christian Media Statement

The State Secrets Protection Bill (2013)

Japan’s Christian Media opposes state secrets bill

October 23, 2013, Statement

We Oppose the State Secret Protection Bill

To Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
From: Editors of Christian media in Japan

We oppose the State Secret Protection Bill, which would be submitted to the ongoing 185th Diet. Here below are the reasons:

1. No objective logic is found in the Purpose (of Chapter 1) such as reasons to make this Bill in addition to the existing Self-Defense Forces Law in terms of secret leak prevention. Therefore, there is no ground to support or even disapprove its purpose in the first place.

2. There are dangers in this Bill for wide stretching of what is to be specified as “special secrets”. It can be easily affected by arbitrariness of the“chiefs of the administrative organs or the chief police agency” It bears, therefore, risk of violating the fundamental human rights of the people under the Chapter 3 of the Constitution of Japan.

3. The procedures of its “aptitude assessments”on “those who handle work on special secrets” and their family and concerned parties bear risks of violating the fundamental human rights of the people.

4. This Bill does not include any function to test the validity and legitimacy in treatment of the “special secrets,” such as obligations of preserving the special secrets, disclosing period, or any independent auditing organization. 

5. Although this bill might say that public right of access to information and freedom of the press should be fully considered,” this does not have any legal weight. Moreover, the penalties on those who violate the Law are quite strict. Therefore, this bill as a whole essentially limits public right of access to information and freedom of the press. 

6. It is clear that this Bill (especially the Article 9) is a part of the policy that includes making of the revised draft of the Constitution of Japan by the Liberal Democratic Party of 2012, accepting to exercise the“right to collective security,” and making of a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council. These are obviously preparations for enabling Japan to make wars abroad with the United States. It inevitably bears risks of violating the Article 9 of the Constitution. If this is the case, this Bill can never be passed prior to democratic discussions about the amendment of the Constitution. 

7. This Bill as a whole is, therefore, nothing but a serious violation of the Preamble of the Constitution that says,

“We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution. Government is a sacred trust of the people, the authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits of which are enjoyed by the people. This is a universal principle of mankind upon which this Constitution is founded.”

Therefore, we say with one voice:

“We reject and revoke all constitutions, laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith.”

For the reasons above, we oppose the Bill to Protect Special Secrets.

Nozomu Kobayashi
Chief Secretary, Christian Publishing and Sales Association of Japan

Masami Iwakura
Editor-in-Chief, Kirhisuto Shinbun (The Christ Weekly newspaper)

Kensaku Matsuyama
Editor-in-chief, Kirisutokyo Bunka (Christian Culture, quarterly)

Shoichi Konda
Editor-in-chief, Christian Shinbun (The Christian, weekly)

Mitsuhito Yoshioka
Editor-in-chief, Shinto-no-Tomo (Friends of Believers, monthly)

Chizuko Karasawa
Editor-in-chief, Seikoukai Shinbun (Anglican-Episcopal News, monthly)

Makoto Konoumi
Editor-in-chief, Hyakumannin no Fukuin (The Gospel for the Millions, monthly)

Yuki Fukaya
Editor-in-chief, Fukuin to Sekai (Gospel and World, monthly)

Shinji Matsutani
Editor-in-chief, Ministry (quarterly)


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