12:30-14:00 Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister
"Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Abe
on the state secrecy law"
It was seen as signature legislation for the current administration, but support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has slid in opinion polls after his ruling coalition steamrolled through the Diet a tough secrecy act that critics fear could muzzle the media and allow officials to hide misdeeds.
The law provides jail terms of up to ten years for public servants or others leaking state secrets. Journalists and others in the private sector convicted of encouraging such leaks could get up to five years if they use "grossly inappropriate" means to get information.
While Abe was quick to defend his legislation, he admitted he should have taken more time to explain the bill carefully. The government still has a chance to ease public concerns before the law is officially in place.
Yosuke Isozaki is Abe's special advisor. Upper House MP Isozaki has been a staunch advocate of the secrecy law and has pointed out what he says are misconceptions in the media about the necessity and effects of the law in his tweets and blog. He is an author of several books on secrecy law. He will be visiting the Club to continue the debate over the state secrecy law.