People have the right to know what their government is doing. Ensuring this right is the foundation of democracy. The state secrets bill, which the Abe administration Thursday rammed through the Upper House Special Committee on National Security for enactment, undermines this foundation because it blocks citizens' access to an extremely large amount of government-held information. This also means that lawmakers' access to important information held by bureaucracy will be blocked.

Citizens and lawmakers should be aware that the bill will greatly change the nature of Japanese politics because it will severely limit the powers of people's representatives and the Diet itself despite the fact that Article 41 of the Constitution says, "The Diet shall be the highest organ of state power, and shall be the sole lawmaking organ of the State." Japan's democracy is now in a deep crisis.

Even if the bill becomes a law, it will be important for people to continue grass-roots movements to oppose it with perseverance for years to come to prevent it from being used for curbing their right to know and to express their thought and opinions.