November 22, 2013
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo criticized the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties, the Your Party, and the Japan Restoration Party for agreeing to push a secrets protection bill through the Diet after "modifying" the bill for the worse.
Shii at a press conference on November 21 stated, "The opposition parties which reached into a deal with the ruling bloc over the bill's 'modification' have demonstrated themselves to be just a complementary force of the ruling bloc."
The "modification" extends the period of confidentiality up to 60 years from the currently proposed 30 years. In other words, many people who are now alive would end their lives without knowing what information was kept secret, and both the JRP and the Your Party will more than likely disappear well within 60 years' time.
They also agreed to exclude seven items in the classified information list from the 60-year-limit and to conceal information similar to these seven categories for more than 60 years. "If things go like this, exceptions will endlessly expand," Shii pointed out.
The "modification" adds a supplementary clause to the bill, stipulating the establishment of an independent organ to check the validity of designated state secrets. However, Shii stated, "It's not worth discussing because the prime minister himself will have a part in this independent organ."
The JCP chair said, "Nearly 80% of the general public in surveys are calling for careful Diet deliberations on the bill. Lawyers, scholars, and media workers are also voicing their opposition to the bill. The JCP will continue making all-out efforts to scrap this bill."