A high-level intelligence official from the United States lauded Japan for passing the controversial state secrecy law last year. James Clapper, director of national intelligence said that the law would spur the US to share more classified information with Japan, which it deems one of its closest allies, given their so-called Asian pivot.
Japan’s secrecy law, which was passed last December 13, will hand out a harsher punishment for those who violate the law and share information which are considered classified by the government. Some have protested the law, as they believe that the lack of definition of what would be classified as state secrets will leave the information subject to the officials’ decision. Many fear also that it would violate the public’s right to know. But Clapper praised the Japanese for “emerging as great intelligence partners, and this extends to the prime minister.” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a previous statement, maintained that the secrecy law is vital for Japan, which looks to exchange sensitive information with other countries to counter various security threats.
Abe’s administration has been concentrating on efforts to strengthen Japan’s intelligence gathering. The state secrecy law will ensure that classified information gathered will be utilized properly in line with the nation’s foreign and defense policy. Many criticized the passing of the law, citing the hasty way it was tackled in Parliament, which left questions unanswered on how information will be classified as state secret.
[via Global Post]
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