Top Official: Protesting secrecy law is act of terrorism — Japan gov’t promotes idea that you’re racist if avoiding Fukushima produce — Bloomberg: “The entire process has echoes of George Orwell” — Nuclear activists to be constantly spied on?
December 4th, 2013
EXSKF, Nov. 28, 2013: The 33rd Ministry of Justice human rights essay contest for junior high school students has been won by a student in Miyagi Prefecture who wrote not buying Fukushima’s peaches because of radiation fear was the same as him being “discriminated” against by his classmate for being a Chinese national. Refusing the Fukushima produce because of radiation fear is tantamount to racial discrimination, according to the student and the Ministry of Justice who selected his essay as the best of the best this year. [...] Not buying Fukushima produce, as the government tells you to? You’re racist [...]
Japan Times, Dec. 3, 2013: With the contentious state secrets bill slated to clear the Upper House this week, citizens have been holding daily protests in front of the Diet building, denouncing the law as emblematic of the “rise of fascism.” [...] Atsuko Ikegami, 45, also decried what she viewed as the state tightening its grip on citizen access to critical information, including about nuclear crises. [...] “When those (anti-nuclear) rallies happened, I thought, ‘Well, the Japanese people finally learned to stand up and make their voice heard,’ ” Ikegami said. “But the bill could subject these activists to constant spying by the state [...]”
Bloomberg’s William Pesek, Dec. 2, 2013: The entire process has echoes of George Orwell. [...] if I grab a beer with a bureaucrat and ask the wrong question, could I end up in handcuffs? Ambiguity reigns. Last week, the No. 2 official in [Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, Shigeru Ishiba, issued a dark warning to anyone like me who might dare to question the bill. In a Nov. 29 blog post, the LDP secretary-general likened any such challenge to “an act of terrorism.” He’s since stood by his ominous statement. [Update: Read Ishiba's apology here] [...] “How can the government respond to growing demands for transparency from a public outraged by the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear accident if it enacts a law that gives it a free hand to classify any information considered too sensitive as a ‘state secret’?” Reporters Without Borders asked in a Nov. 27 statement. Essentially, the group argued, Japan “is making investigative journalism illegal [...]