Takichi Nishiyama, a former reporter for the Mainichi Shimbun who uncovered the secret pact on the U.S. reversion of Okinawa to Japan, criticized the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday for trying to centralize power and manipulate information with the contentious state secrets bill.

"The government believes it has to transform the Japan-U.S. alliance into a sacred cow," Nishiyama told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. "They will only leak the information that works for them."

Nishiyama, 82, was found guilty of using devious tactics to obtain documents revealing Japan had secretly made a pact with the U.S. to pay $4 million of the cost of returning control of Okinawa. The documents were acquired from the foreign minister's clerk, with whom he was having an affair.