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Japan: National Security Council Bill Passes Lower House
Source: http://the-japan-news.com
Source Date: Friday, November 08, 2013
Country: Japan
Created: Nov 12, 2013

Legislation to establish a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council as a “control tower” for the country’s foreign policy and national security cleared the House of Representatives in a plenary meeting on Thursday.

The lower house also began full deliberations on a controversial bill to enhance the protection of designated state secrets that the government says is crucial to the smooth operation of the Japanese NSC.

The government and the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling camp hope to see the enactment of the state secrets bill before the current Diet session ends in December.

Heated debates are expected over the legislation. Opposition parties have expressed strong concern that it could lead to an arbitrary designation of state secrets and infringe on the public’s right to know.

The lower house approved the NSC bills with support mainly from the ruling bloc, which holds a comfortable majority in the chamber, as well as the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

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