In December of 2013, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, signed into law the “Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets” (SDS). Reportedly, Tokyo created the law, in part, to conform with U.S. requirements for sharing classified military information. Leaking sensitive material can now result in prison terms up to ten years. The law also loosely defines what is meant by “secret.” The SDS is drawing mass protests in Japan. Critics felt deliberation over the law was non-transparent and brief. They also fear SDS will be used to go after whistleblowers and journalists. We’ll talk about the law with Andrew Oros, associate professor of political science and international studies at Washington College. His forthcoming book is Japan's Security Renaissance: Changing Roles for Japan's Defense Planners. Oros, just back from Japan, will share what he learned about the SDS.
(photo: A demonstrator holds a poster with an image of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reading: "Don't see, don't listen, don't speak" while protesting against a proposed state secrecy law that imposes stiffer penalties on bureaucrats who leak information and journalists who seek it, in front of the parliament building in Tokyo, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara))