TOKYO, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Japan enacted a state-secrets law
toughening penalties for leaks on Friday, despite public
protests and criticism that it will muzzle the media and help
cover up official misdeeds.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, keen to beef up Japan’s security
amid rising concerns about China’s military assertiveness, has
said the law is needed to the smooth operation of a new National
Securities Council and to persuade foreign countries such as
close ally the United States to share intelligence.
TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will seek a delicate balance between calming military tensions with China and backing ally Japan against Beijing on a trip to Asia this week that is being overshadowed by a territorial row in the East China Sea.
Japan reiterated on Monday that Tokyo and Washington had both rejected Beijing’s move to set up an air defense zone that includes islands at the heart of a bitter Sino-Japanese feud – despite the fact that three U.S. airlines, acting on government advice, are notifying China of plans to transit the zone.
TOKYO (Reuters) – An update of Japan’s long-term defense policy to be unveiled next month will call for stronger air and maritime surveillance capabilities and the improved ability to defend far-flung isles as concerns rise about China’s growing military assertiveness.
The policy review, in the works since hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office last December, is being finalised as tensions mount between Japan and China over tiny islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
TOKYO, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Japan on Tuesday moved closer
towards a law that would expand the definition of state secrets
and raise penalties for leaks, a provision critics say will
block access to information on sensitive areas, including the
Parliament’s lower house approved the state secrets act
after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party
agreed last week to revisions with small, conservative
TOKYO, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Thousands of people protested in
Tokyo on Thursday against a proposed secrets act that critics
say would stifle information on issues such as the Fukushima
The law, proposed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government,
would significantly broaden the definition of official secrets,
which Abe says is vital for strengthening security cooperation
with main ally the United States and other countries.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government should focus on economic recovery and respect a decades-old pacifist defense policy, the junior coalition partner of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party said on Tuesday, in a bid to rein in Abe’s security agenda.
The hawkish Abe returned to power for a rare second term in December, pledging to bolster the military to cope with what Japan sees as an increasingly threatening security environment, including an assertive China and an unpredictable North Korea.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is finalizing a budget for a new command centre for cutting-edge research modeled after the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to try to tap a broad swathe of civilian technologies with potential military uses.
The planned research program is another symbol of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to bolster Japan’s military as he seeks to make it less bound by the limits of the pacifist post-war constitution.
TOKYO, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Foreign ministers from Japan and
Russia on Friday agreed to hold a vice ministerial-level meeting
early next year to work toward the resolution of an island
dispute and signing of a peace treaty formally ending their
World War Two hostilities.
Tokyo and Moscow have conflicting claims over a string of
windswept islands called the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the
Northern Territories in Japan. The dispute has prevented the two
from signing a peace treaty for nearly 70 years.
ASAKA, Japan (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Japanese troops on Sunday that Japan would not tolerate the use of force to change the region’s status quo, comments likely to rile Beijing which is locked in a long and bitter territorial dispute with Tokyo.
“Use of force for changing the status quo” is an expression often used by Japanese politicians and security experts to indirectly refer to what they see as China’s aggressive maritime expansion in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
(Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has prepared a new law that seeks tougher penalties for leaking classified information on defense and diplomatic issues, which critics say would curtail press freedom and curtail the public’s right to know.
Following are key points of the legislation, which the government aims to pass in the current session of parliament ending on December 6. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner New Komeito jointly hold a majority in both chambers of parliament.