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Two days before the contentious state secrets law getting the official nod, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba waded into the fray Wednesday by saying journalists could be punished for reporting state-designated classified information, only to backpedal slightly.

“It is legal to obtain the information. But if reporting state secrets threatens our national security, common sense tells me reporting will be somehow restricted,” Ishiba said at the Japan National Press Club.

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