Eager to see its state secrecy bill passed by the Lower House next week, the ruling coalition is showing signs of giving ground on the controversial legislation.

The ruling bloc met with Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) on Wednesday to discuss several possible changes to the bill, including the formation of an independent group to oversee the classification process. The Osaka-based party also wants state secrets to be limited to defense-related information and declassified after 30 years without exception.

Under the current bill, no such independent panel is envisioned, prompting concern that the government can classify information at its discretion. The bill reclassifies information related to defense, diplomacy, counterterrorism and counterintelligence as state secrets but sets no detailed criteria for classification or declassification.