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The legislation, which cleared the Diet in June 2004, specifies that entities violating the law are barred from taking retaliatory action against those who unveil their misdeeds.

The immunity law presupposes that whistle-blowers have reported the illegal acts by their firm or government agency to the entities that have jurisdiction over them.

The law authorizes whistle-blowers to expose the illicit acts to the media and other outsiders if they fear the entities may destroy evidence of their wrongdoing.

It also empowers whistle-blowers to tell the media and other outsiders of such illegal acts if those they accuse have not started an investigation within 20 days of being informed of the claims.