Members of the Japanese Parliament visited Germany to understand how the national assembly handles secret information that the government acquires. Headed by Liberal Democratic party member Gen Nakatani, the members went to Berlin to understand the work of the Parliamentary Control Panel in handling classified information.
Meeting with Clemens Binninger were members of the Diet from the Liberal Democratic Party, opposition Democratic Party, and other smaller parties. Binninger, who is a member of Germany’s Bundestag national assembly also serves at the panel. He discussed panel member’s access to information considered as secret by the government, saying that panel members must have strict confidentiality when handling certain secret information. And not everyone has access to all, as panel members are asked to choose an area of interest. Once they have decided, members will have access to all information pertaining to their selected area. Nakatani agrees and believes that legislature has a significant role in ensuring that information gathered by the government is monitored properly. Japan’s Shu Watanabe, former parliamentary senior vice defense minister, however, said that while the system by the Germans is effective, it is unheard of in Japan to maintain strict confidentiality in such matters. A careful study must be made if such can be done in their nation.
The Diet agreed to pass a state secrecy law last month. Expected to take effect in the latter part of the year, the law will give the government the power to classify certain information as special secrets. The trip, which will bring the members not just to Germany, but also Britain and the United States, aims to help collect knowledge on how to ensure proper monitoring of classified information.
[via NHK World]
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