12:30-14:00 Friday, November 15, 2013
Former Mainichi Shimbun Political Reporter
On October 25th, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet approved a controversial bill for a state secrets law. The bill is currently being debated in the Diet. Critics from major newspapers to noted actress and entertainer Norika Fujiwara have warned the new law represents a major threat to freedom of speech, and has grave implications for the public's right to know what its elected officials are doing. Among other reasons, the bill is being pushed by the Abe administration as a measure to strengthen defense cooperation, especially in cyber-security, with the United States.
Takichi Nishiyama, the former Mainichi Shimbun reporter who revealed the existence of a secret pact between the U.S. and Okinawa in which Tokyo paid Washington four million dollars after the islands reverted to Japan in 1972, and who lost his job over the scoop, is a trenchant critic of the new law. In a recent interview with the Asahi Shimbun, he warned that if the legislation is enacted, the government will be able to classify specified secrets every five years, running the risk that inconvenient information will never be disclosed.
Please join us for what promises to be an informative event from a former reporter who knows firsthand the kind of official and unofficial pressures on, and harassment of, those who disclose information the Japanese government doesn't want publicized.