Zenroren denounces outrageous political move disregarding public opinion
Statement on the billfs railroading the passage of the state secrets protection bill through the House of Representatives
National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren)
In complete disregard of strong opposition, the House of Representativesf ad hoc committee on national security rushed the bill to protect designated state secrets through the House of Representatives on November 26. The bill was sent to the House of Councilors in the afternoon. The government and the ruling parties did so obviously because they were afraid of the dangerous aims and contents of the bill being known to the public if it is discussed more in detail in the Diet. We protest the government and the ruling parties for railroading through the bill to bar the public from government information in violation of the human rights, without fulfilling the responsibility to explain to the sovereign people.
In a public hearing held in Fukushima City yesterday (Nov. 25), all people invited to give opinions expressed opposition, or called for careful parliamentary deliberations to be made. An emergency rally held on November 21 in Tokyo to stop the secrecy bill was attended by 10,000 people. Similar rallies and various other actions are taking place in many cities across the country. Opposition to the undemocratic legislation, which deprives the public of the right to know, comes not only from trade unions but from the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (Nichibenren) and other lawyersf groups, journalists, writers, and public figures, as well as a wide range of organizations and individuals. Many media organizations are expressing grave concerns. Many in the international community, including the United Nations, are pointing out how dangerous the legislation is.
The whole picture of the legislation came to be known in late October, and provoked strong opposition both at home and internationally for a number of reasons: (1) The government has not explained why the bill to protect designated secrets is necessary; (2) the proposed legislation does not make known what information is classified as secret, which is different from practices in foreign countries that limit the range of information to be classified as secret, the aim being to prevent state power from implementing the law in an arbitrary manner; (3) leaving the range of information classified as secret vague would lead to damaging peoplefs peaceful lives, as has been the case with the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant; (4) negotiation between the ruling Liberal Democratic and New Komeito parties and opposition parties, including the Your Party, have amended the bill to broaden the range of designated secret information and extend the period of classification; and (5) not only public service workers, who have access to classified information, but employees of non-government companies would be subject to background investigation. These problems suggest that a broad range of peoplefs right to privacy might be violated by the government, increasing peoplefs concern about the fundamentally dangerous nature of the legislation.
Zenroren reiterates its protest against the railroading a vote on the secrecy bill in the House of Representatives and expresses determination to do all it can to stop its enactment.
Let us demand that the House of Councilors discuss the bill fully!
Let us spread joint action by a wide spectrum of people to stop the bill!
Let us join forces to increase the campaign to make the dangerous aims and contents of the bill known to people!
We call on all workers as well as unions to rise in action now!