Hayao Miyazaki, others in film industry oppose Japan secrecy bill

By Kyle Johnson,

Some in the Japanese film industry have started speaking out against the controversial state secrets bill that has already passed one level of Japanese legislature.

According to Variety, legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata are among those who have spoken out against the draconian bill that has many worried.

The State Secrets Protection Act aims to penalize journalists and those in the public sector who reveal state secrets. Some feel the bill is to try and help cover up possible future events that could be seen as embarrassing to the Japanese government, events like the Fukushima nuclear reactor's melting down in the wake of the tsunami.

The film industry group, called the Committee to Oppose the State Secrets Protection Act, is worried that if the bill passes parliament that they might be coerced into developing propaganda films for Japan again. The group currently has 269 supporters, including The Wind Rises director, who said, "Japan must be a free country for the sake of peace in East Asia."

The group released a statement saying, "Reflecting on our seniors in the film world who were forced to support war against their wishes, the Japanese film world walked a new path in the post-war period in mortification and remorse."

Shinzo Abe's No. 2 in the country's governing Liberal Democratic Party, Shigeru Ishiba, compared anyone's challenge against the bill before parliament as something akin to "an act of terrorism," reports Bloomberg. Ishiba continues to back that statement.

Few have been happy to hear that, with Reporters Without Borders writing about the bill saying the country "is making investigative journalism illegal, and is trampling on the fundamental principles of the confidentiality of journalists' sources and public interest."

In a press-freedom ranking, RWB placed Japan 53rd out of 179 ranked countries, a drop of 31 places in only a year.

image: Wikimedia Commons


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