Right to Know v. the Secrecy Law in Japan: Striking the Right Balance

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The 'right to know' information is a well established human right principle protected under the umbrella of Public International Law. In Japan, this right stems from the Japanese constitution and its provisions were enshrined in the Administrative Information Disclosure Law (AIDL) of 2001. However, in December 2013, the Japanese National Diet passed a Secrecy Bill which caused uproar among legal experts, the media and other civic and human rights organizations, mainly due to its failure to come to term with the concept of secret information, which may undermine and hamper journalistic activities and freedom of the press. The 'special gravitas' question of striking the right balance between the legitimacy of state secrets and the public's right to know persists in Japan still. This article attempts to answer some of these lingering questions and strives to find a solution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Japanese Law
Issue number19
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2014

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Law - information disclosure law in Japan, right to know, secrecy law, freedom of press, freedom of speech, whistle-blowing, Tshwane Principles

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