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Schooled in scandal

Schooled in scandal

2024/2/1

NUMBER1 Shinbun FCCJ (Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan)

On November 17th, the Supreme Court handed down an unusual ruling against the government in a case involving artistic speech. The case concerned the Japan Arts Council's revocation of a subsidy for the film "From Miyamoto to You" following the arrest of one of the actors for drug use. The court ordered the council (under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) to pay back the 10 million yen in subsidies it had approved before the arrest and revocation. This article introduces the details.
Abe’s legacy of expanded police power

Abe’s legacy of expanded police power

2023/8/23

EAST ASIA FORUM

Shinzo Abe’s long tenure as prime minister of Japan is notable for many reasons, but perhaps his most enduring achievements were made in the Diet where he led colleagues in passing several highly controversial bills sure to have an impact for many years to come.
Long Shadow : Supreme court support for ban on small political rally an alarm bell for freedom of expression

Long Shadow : Supreme court support for ban on small political rally an alarm bell for freedom of expression

2023/7/1

FCCJ (Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan)

In its more than 70-year history, Japan’s supreme court has never ruled that the police or any other agency of government has violated the constitutionally protected right to free speech. In a case decided recently, the court had the opportunity to break with precedent but once again sided with the government.
World June Issue: A timeless struggle for freedom of expression

World June Issue: A timeless struggle for freedom of expression

2023/5/5

Iwanami Shoten

Why did I write a book about the Tachikawa Anti-War Leaflet Incident? If someone doesn't write a book about it, this incident will likely be forgotten.
Issue: 20 years since the Freedom of Information Act came into force

Issue: 20 years since the Freedom of Information Act came into force

2021/12/31

Mainichi Shimbun

Twenty years have passed since the Freedom of Information Act, which stipulates the public's right to request disclosure of government documents, came into force in 2001. It was hoped that this would lead to the realization of an open government, but there have been a series of cases in which the system has been flouted, such as the falsification of approval documents by the Ministry of Finance regarding Moritomo Gakuen and the short-term destruction of the guest list for the Cherry Blossom Viewing Party. [Interviewer: Akira Aoshima]
COVID-19 is a weak excuse for changing Japan’s Constitution

COVID-19 is a weak excuse for changing Japan’s Constitution

2021/9/27

East Asia Forum

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, while governments in many countries issued mandatory lockdown orders backed by penalties for non-compliance, Japan’s did not.  International news organisations reported that Japan’s Constitution ‘would need to be amended to impose and enforce a lockdown’. The suggestion that effective action required constitutional change was no surprise. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been calling for change to the democratic Constitution since it was founded in 1955. One key proposal is the creation of an ‘emergency powers’ provision. But while the pandemic is a crisis that calls for emergency action, an effective response does not require constitutional change.
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