Saturday, December 7, 2013

(OT) Obama Administration Welcomes the Passage of Japan's State Secret Protection Law, and Japanese Press Goalseeks


In the minds of the Japanese press and their readers, the United States government under the Obama administration dislikes - if it doesn't, it should and it must - the Japanese "right-wing" administration of Shinzo Abe, and it condemns - if it doesn't, it should and it must - the State Secrecy Protection Law that just passed the Upper house in Japan.

So when the Japanese reporters write about the US reaction (if any) to the law, they try their best to elicit the response they want to hear; failing that, they still hear what they want to hear and write about what they believe they hear. In other words, they goalseek.

First it was Mainichi Shinbun (12/7/2013) who reported on the US reaction to the passage of the State Secret Protection Law:

ハーフ副報道官は「情報の保全は同盟国間の協力に決定的な役割を果たす」と述べ、日米両政府が共有する情報の保全が必要であるとの認識を示した。ただ、ハーフ氏は「表現の自由、報道の自由などの普遍的価値の共有が我々の同盟関係の基盤である」とも述べ、同法を根拠に言論の自由を制限することがないよう日本政府に求めた。

Deputy Spokesperson Harf said "Information security plays a critical role in alliance cooperation," indicating security of information shared by both the Japanese government and the US government is necessary. However, [Ms.] Harf also said, "A foundation of our alliance is a shared commitment to universal values such as freedom of expression and freedom of the press," by which remark she requested the Japanese government not to limit the freedom of speech based on the [State Secrecy Protection] Law.


Thus, according to Mainichi, the US Obama administration has expressed concern that the Japanese government may restrict freedom of speech under the law.

That's odd, I thought, coming from this US administration.

Then, the Asahi Shinbun reporter whom I follow on Twitter tweeted about part of the US State Department Press Briefing on December 6, 2013, which concerned the State Secrecy Protection Law that passed the Opper House on December 6 (Japan Standard Time) and became the law of the land . He said:

秘密保護法の制定は米政府が日本に長年求めていたとの指摘については、米国務省の報道官はコメントしなかった

There was no comment from the [deputy] spokesperson to the reporter when he pointed out that the State Secrecy Protection Law had long been requested from the United States for Japan to prepare it.


That piqued my interest further. So I followed the link in the tweet to the State Department Daily Press Briefing (transcript) page (12/6/2013) to find out exactly what was said and who it was who asked the questions.

Here's the transcript of the section about Japan (emphasis in the transcript is mine):

QUESTION: On Japan?
MS. HARF: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: National secret protection law has finally passed the parliament in Japan today. Can we have any comment on that?
MS. HARF: I do. Just give me one second. As you know, information security plays a critical role in alliance cooperation, and we welcome progress on strengthening policies, practices, and procedures related to the protection of classified information. A foundation of our alliance is also a shared commitment to universal values, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, so those are – that’s our response to that. Obviously, we’ll continue talking to them about it if --
QUESTION: Is the freedom --
MS. HARF: -- it’s a topic that comes up.
QUESTION: The last part is regarding this huge national debate in Japan that law might – press – the freedom of press practice in Japan. Is that the reaction you are making?
MS. HARF: Well, as I said, a key part of our alliance is also the – our shared commitment to freedom of the press, and we believe it’s also important to protect classified information. So obviously – I know there’s been some debate about this there, but this is the extent of our response to that.
QUESTION: Did you know that – I mean, can you comment on this law’s character? It has been long requested from the United States for Japan to prepare it.
MS. HARF: I just don’t have any further comment on this new Japanese law.


Well, it may be possible to interpret her remark "A foundation of our alliance is also a shared commitment to universal values, freedom of expression, freedom of the press" as a caution, a warning to the Japanese government as Mainichi reported, but it is also possible to interpret it as simply delivering the statement that the US-Japan alliance is based in part ("a foundation") on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, therefore there is not much to be concerned about.

But it still doesn't satisfy my curiosity as to who asked the questions. The reporter seemed to want to elicit the particular response from the spokesperson when he asked if the US State Department thought the law might suppress the freedom of speech and freedom of press in Japan.

So I watched the video of the press briefing. The video was much more instructive than the transcript.

It was a Japanese reporter, probably from a major Japanese newspaper (my guess is Asahi) who asked the questions about Japan's newly-passed State Secrecy Protection Law.

Ms. Harf, in response to the request for comment on the passage of the law, flipped through the loosely bound papers in front of her and delivered the sentences (as opposed to speaking to the reporters) from the paper she located:

As you know, information security plays a critical role in alliance cooperation, and we welcome progress on strengthening policies, practices, and procedures related to the protection of classified information. A foundation of our alliance is also a shared commitment to universal values, freedom of expression, freedom of the press



Watching the manner by which the sentences were delivered (reading off the words rapidly and business-like), I do not get the impression at all that these sentences form a criticism, or at least a caution, from the US to the Abe administration as reported by both Mainichi and Asahi.

Rather, my take after watching the video is still that she is saying that "foundation" of "shared commitment to universal values, freedom of expression, freedom of the press" has already been in place, and the US government is not too worried about that aspect of the alliance.

The reporter asked, But, but, what about the press freedom? Is the last part of your comment a criticism of the law?

Well clearly not. Ms. Harf's answer (or rather, the sentences that she was told to deliver) is instructive if you read carefully.

First, "our shared commitment to freedom of the press". Note that it is just a "commitment", little more than a promise. It is not obligation for the government to guarantee under the Constitution (which is what it is).

Then, her last remark of "this new Japanese law". It is "Japanese" problem, whatever the problem may be, not the US.

The reporter could have framed the question in a way relating more to the United States interest - i.e. defense alliance against China in the Far East. The US government could care less, probably, about what's happening in Japan. A protest against the law for the concern of freedom of speech? That's Japan's problem.

Sadly for the Asahi reporter that I follow, her remark is about emphasizing the supreme importance of freedom of the press, and about the US government's continuing the effort to talk with the Japanese counterpart on the importance.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Journalism in Japan is run by the Press Club cartels and what gets into print or not into print is government-controlled. Please have a read of Ivan Hall's book "Cartels of the Mind" depicting the "cartels" in Japan's intellectual domain:universities, the Law, and journalism.

Anonymous said...

I think the JP government and media just don't want to admit they're bending over to the US, or they seriously believe they're independently pioneering this nonsense. Maybe they're trying to encourage positive citizen opinion of the US for economic purposes.

Regardless, they are still full of shit.

Anonymous said...

I scrolled through this post before I read it. When I scrolled past the picture of Ms. Harf, I thought that this must be an OT "humor" entry because the pic is surely from some political comedy skit on TV.

After reading the excellent analysis based on the kind of goalseeking that should (but no longer does) drive the media, it is saddening to realize that, though comedic, there is nothing at all funny here.

Excellent job on this post. Thank you.

-RB

Vyse Legendaire said...

@ RB above:

I think you are confused about that. The Japanese press is goal-seeking into its own goal here, by attempting to reinforce a false notion about U.S. concern about Japan's freedom of press.

If they were actually goal-seeking an intelligent way, they might criticize the U.S. and JP gov't for their callous indifference to these latest police state developments.

Anonymous said...

VL:

I was complimenting the author of the post, not the JP media.

-RB

Anonymous said...

As I see it,
Everyone that has evil intentions in Government wants to do things that are evil...in secret. Unfortunate for them, the thinking Public has learned that ALL politicians lie. So, EVERYTHING they say is opposite to what they claim it is.

For instance:
War protects Freedom.
Real meaning: War protects weapon profits and allows rogue Governments to steal another country's resources.

Unemployment is dropping.
Real meaning: We don't include the people we kick off unemployment insurance. Otherwise the numbers would be in the high double digits.

Nuclear Power is safe and necessary.
Real Meaning: We make billions on ratepayers and steal their taxes for subsidies to run these dangerous plants. Also, NONE of these plants are necessary. We use them for nuclear weapons production.

I'm your Representative in Congress and I'm telling you the truth.
Real Meaning: I'm lying my ass off because I hate you all.

So, the Secrets Bill confirms what people already know: Politicians lie about everything. They wanted this bill to protect their underhanded dealing from Public viewing. So when it's time to run for election, they can lie more than they did in the last election and steal more money with no one knowing they did it!

Assume the worst from elected officials and then multiply 10 times it!

Anonymous said...

Any photo of politicians tends to look like OT humor to me. "Look how much I love my country because I have this many flags next to me!"

Paveway Mk IV said...

The NSA records all private phone conversations and internet communications of mainstream media reporters. They won't think twice about listening to them to locate a reporter's sources, especially government whistle-blowers. The NSA has admitted to as much - that's exactly what their system is designed to do.

Guess what, Japan: the NSA does the same thing with your reporters and government officials. You're no different from Germany, France, U.K., etc. - except for one thing: the U.S. (selectively) shares that information back with those respective governments so they can use it against their reporters (or identify juicy stock investment opportunities). But not so much with Japan... until now.

The U.S. (and NSA) would not share that intelligence with the Japanese Government in the past unless they guaranteed to 'protect' it. Which basically means not tell anyone that the U.S. has or can give the Japanese government all the private cell phone conversations and emails of... say, ...some Asahi reporter writing an article critical of TEPCO. That kind of information makes it MUCH easier to track down whistle-blowers and kill them.

Now that Japan has agreed to Stazi-fy, the NSA will be happy to share its spying with those in power. Japanese citizens should not look at the new law as an attack on the free press. Instead, think of all the wonderful things the Japanese government can do to protect you now that they have access to this tsunami of NSA spying data.

Stock said...

This is my best effort at elucidating the fact that Fukushima was a nuclear explosion of sorts, AND that we were heavily dosed. I think its an important point. I think that knowledge could sway some "swing voters" in the nuclear debate.

Fukushima WAS a Nuclear Explosion, Here Is The Proof
The only way that the tens of tons of uranium and plutonium shown by US EPA air samples could occur was if the explosion came from within the reactor vessel, and/or spent fuel pool. So clearly the explosion was a nuclear type of explosion from within. Nuclear promoters have long stated that nuclear plants can't blow up in a nuclear explosion. We know this to be a lie. In fact Chicago's own Argonne National Lab has video from back in the day when it was "cool" to perform open air tests to blow up reactors to prove the nuclear chain reaction can blow up the reactors. The special type of Nuclear Explosion is called a "prompt moderated criticality". cont....here

http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2013/12/fukushima-was-nuclear-explosion-here-is.html

Hélios said...

OT Fukushima, sorry :

http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-testimony-we-are-being-used-as-the-worlds-first-human-guinea-pigs/5360865

Stuntman Mike said...

What's the big deal? Isn't everything as it should be?
Up is down. Black is white and 2 plus 2 equals five.
Everything is just fine...

Anonymous said...

because it ain't over, studying is dumb, it's been done already. Studying is being behind, a backwards thinker and someone who is mentally sick. You need future forward types, not someone who revels pn the past. Research done, japan done/dead, fukushima not done, not by a mile/hardly begun. Run around with your notepads idiots, should have paid more attention before GAMBLING. Study that.
Greatest hits-
RETARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
UR RETARDEDNESS KILLED/KILLING HOW MANY?
LIFE LAND OCEAN FLORA&FAUNA GONE, LEFT TO SURVIVE IN LESS THAN, WHEN COULD HAVE BEEN MORE THAN?
ANSWER FOR ALL BUT ESPECIALLY 4 JAPAN WAS INTEGRATED NEUTRON POISONS
IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND I'M WORSE THAN JPN GOV TEPCO 2U RIGHT.

SMART?
NO, NOT SMART, NO!!!!!
U PROVE NOT SMART JAPAN.
U PROVED IT!
NOT SMART
DUMB!!!!!
DUMB LIKE CHILD

I premier my official announcement "here of all places big :)" That I have declared that march 11th is Global f##* the government day.GLOBAL. I will be protestingk the lies and idiocy, the deaths of the innocent, the bs, the coverup, the psychological behavior etc. My single stink alone will be incredible "lights,signs,bells,whistles,signs, TRUTH, pamphlets, website referrals, cocoa "canadadink"middle fingers etc"f#### the govt march 11th -#*@ THEM

Anonymous said...

Scott (@12:08),
I looked at your blog site and can't find any plutonium detected in the EPA document(s) you posted. Nor can I find anything that would explain why the uranium is or could be from Fukushima or how it compares to findings from before the accident. Likewise, I cannot find your calculations how the uranium detected in the US translates into tons of it (uranium AND plutonium) expelled at Fukushima.
Hence, I find it impossible to follow your reasoning that any of it is proof that reactor vessels or fuel pools exploded.

And as so often before, I appreciate just the more the reporting of laprimavera in this blog with logical reasoning and well-documented source information, all of it without trailing off into wild speculations or fear-mongering. Thanks, laprimavera.
*mscharisma*

Anonymous said...

"So, the Secrets Bill confirms what people already know: Politicians lie about everything. They wanted this bill to protect their underhanded dealing from Public viewing. So when it's time to run for election, they can lie more than they did in the last election and steal more money with no one knowing they did it!

Assume the worst from elected officials and then multiply 10 times it!"

Ok, Anon @ 7:50 PM, I'll do that. Lockheed's bribe money for the upcoming F-35s will be silly big compared to their 70's bribe scandal debacle.

And this time, This Time, there won't BE any whistleblowing, goddamnit!

Anonymous said...

11:40 PM, anything that will get you out of your mom's dank foul-smelling basement and off the hard stuff would help your recovery immensely.

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