» 12/04/2013 10:32
Tokyo – the Church slams law on State Secrets: an attack on peace
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
The Japanese Diet will vote on December 6 on a decree granting the government special powers on matters considered “sensitive” . The Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace : ” The text is too dangerous , it covers too many topics and puts at risk the Constitution and commitment to peace that we took on before the world .”
Tokyo ( AsiaNews) – The Special Law on State Secrets “attacks the very concept of peace , that our Constitution guarantees , and that is the foundation of our society.” This was written by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Japanese Church in an open letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The text is signed by the President of the Commission, the auxiliary bishop of Osaka Msgr. Michael Goro Matsuura, Catholic groups and individual believers.
In the letter, the Commission writes: “We oppose the draft Special Secret Bill from the standpoint of those who respect the basic principles of the Constitution of Japan and those who seek a free and peaceful society where human dignity is protected.” According to the draft , the government can arbitrarily decide which investigation should be covered by state secrecy : “in the absence of an efficient information disclosure system, a wide variety of matters can be specified as secrets. In addition, not only government officials but also civilians who know the secret can be subject to sanctions. Even Diet members are held to secrecy”.
The law is being debated in Parliament and will be voted on December 6 by members. But according to the Church is “too dangerous. in the absence of an efficient information disclosure system, a wide variety of matters can be specified as secrets. In addition, not only government officials but also civilians who know the secret can be subject to sanctions. Even Diet members are held to secrecy [which provides for the abandonment of any warlike activity, with the exception of self- defense operations -ed] . ”
According to the Commission , there are also other problems : “Information about nuclear plants including the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Accident whose solution is unforeseeable can be hidden from the public under the pretext of “anti-terrorism”. The Diet, which is defined as the highest organ of state power by the Constitution, will be positioned below administrative organs. The activities of mass media will be inhibited, so that the right to know that is guaranteed to the people by the Constitution will be extremely limited . ”
In short, the letter concludes, “If this draft is adopted, a variety of matters will be carried out in secret under the pretext of strengthening the Japan-US alliance. It will shake the foundation of our resolve for peace announced to the world: “We, the Japanese people resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government.”