Ahead of the attempt by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to deal with the 400 tons of spent nuclear fuel at Fukushima Reactor 4, it looks like the government of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has opted for less government transparency, not more.
After calls from a concerned scientists to act more forcefully and transparently, the Japanese government is responding — by planning a new state secrets law.
I don’t have to call this the “American solution” because the writer does.
Reuters (my emphasis and paragraphing):
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is planning a state secrets act that critics say could curtail public access to information on a wide range of issues, including tensions with China and the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The new law would dramatically expand the definition of official secrets and journalists convicted under it could be jailed for up to five years. …
Critics see parallels between the new law and Abe’s drive to revise Japan’s U.S.-drafted, post-war constitution to stress citizen’s duties over civil rights, part of a conservative agenda that includes a stronger military and recasting Japan’s wartime history with a less apologetic tone. “There is a demand by the established political forces for greater control over the people,” said Lawrence Repeta, a law professor at Meiji University. “This fits with the notion that the state should have broad authority to act in secret.”
Abe says the new law, a draft of which was approved by his cabinet on Friday and should be passed by parliament in the current session, is vital to his plan to set up a U.S.-style National Security Council to oversee security policies and coordinate among ministries.
Just digest that; each piece of it. TEPCO has said they’re going to start working on that Fukushima Reactor 4 spent fuel rod pool in November. Still awaiting word on when the work will start.
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