Secrecy, Santa and Abe

Japan’s Prime Minister has seen his name attain worldwide recognition due to his trend-bucking Abenomics. Yet regardless of whether his policies prove in any way successful or not, his legacy almost certainly won’t be in the arena of economics, but in the clamping down of freedom, investigative reporting and whistleblowing.

With his government’s hugely controversial secrecy bill rammed through parliament this month, citizens will now cease to know — indefinitely if desired — what those in charge deem unnecessary, dangerous, or simply damaging. So anything that did and may happen at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will doubtless be put through the censorship filter, as will any unflattering scandals, human rights issues and regional squabbles. The latter of which the increasingly hawkish Abe is preparing for with a hefty increase in Japan’s already substantial military spending. The move couched in a very unsettling form of doublespeak — proactive pacifism.

But as worrying as the situation is, reassuringly people are still out there protesting. Both in large groups, or like this artist, alone.


The question is though, for how long?



  1. says

    Excellent post! Very worrying things are happening in Japan and even though I’m happy to see protests, it looks like it was too little too late.
    China has been playing right into the hands of Abe and his cronies almost like China would like to see Japan slide towards the ‘good old times’: the whole islands issue could not have happened at a better time as far as the Japanese nationalists are concerned as they managed to put through very questionable legislation that will send Japan even further down the ranks on the freedom of press list (after falling already 20? places last year) and almost nobody dares to challenge Abe.

    • says

      Thank you!

      There were (still are in fact) a lot of protests. Good sized ones too. But the bill was pushed through so quickly there was very little time. Not that the government would have listened if there had been more. Abe was clearly determined to get through this. Hence the very questionable way such an important piece of legislation was enacted.

      But it has gone through, and like you say, it is very worrying. The constitution is next. Abe’s main goal. And sadly he seems to have everything in place to see it through…

  2. Bernadette Marchetti says

    Maybe Japan can get their own Edward Snowdon. Being an American is somewhat embarrassing as of late.

    • says

      British too with the shameless work of GCHQ…

      Sadly these laws make whistleblowing much more risky, so the chance of a Japanese Snowden has diminished enormously. Not a good situation at all.

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