Thursday, October 17, 2013
Diet Committee To Discuss Proposed National Security Council
TOKYO (Nikkei)--The lower house will set up a committee Thursday to deliberate a proposal to create a national security body as well as legislation to punish those who leak government secrets.
The opposition Democratic Party of Japan on Wednesday agreed to establish the committee after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party accepted its demand to discuss a DPJ proposal to include judicial oversight in the government's effort to protect information.
The special committee would be able to hold daily sessions to discuss the bills, expediting the legislative process. The government and the ruling coalition hope to pass the legislation during the current session, with the aim of launching the Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council by year-end.
The coalition envisions starting deliberations this month, with the bills' lower house passage coming as early as mid-November.
To counter the government-backed secrecy bill, the DPJ plans to submit legislation allowing courts to check the validity of government decisions to classify information.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 17 morning edition)