The Cabinet approved a bill March 27 that would require government ministries and agencies to disclose information on their activities at the public’s request — a step toward a more democratized society.

There is currently no uniform rule for such disclosure, and the extent to which a government agency discloses information is largely left to the discretion of each agency. The bill, formerly called the Bill Regarding Disclosure of Information Held by Administrative Organizations, was submitted to the Diet later in the day, government officials said. “The media have repeatedly noted the need for information disclosure. The government has acknowledged this and is introducing legislation that releases information except in cases of privacy, national security and other matters,” Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto told reporters.

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