from The Global Post
The Obama-supported State Secret Bill criminalizes investigative journalism and equates terrorism with ‘imposing one’s opinions.’
Asia‘s rapidly mounting tensions just helped deliver a blow against democracy, with the Obama administration’s backing.
The context: In late November, China declared an “air defense identification zone” in airspace over the disputed Senkaku (Diaoyu to China) islands, which Japan controls. On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden raised hackles over this provocative step with Chinese president Xi Jinping, in what he called a “very direct” meeting.
China’s move was arguably intended to test Japan’s mettle.
Ironically, it is helping Japan’s right-wing prime minister, Shinzo Abe, advance his quest for a more muscular Japan.
Abe’s party sailed to electoral victory on platform that included revising the constitution, to undo a post-World War II policy of pacifism and allow the country to raise a standing army.
They haven’t yet succeeded in doing that. But in a rare late-night parliament vote Friday night, they achieved another key goal by passing a controversial security measure: the Bill on the Protection of State Secrets — essentially Japan’s version of the USA PATRIOT Act.
The Obama administration, which has long complained of intelligence leaks in Japan, supported the bill.