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On Dec. 10, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new special secrets law took effect despite overwhelming public opposition.

The new law gives bureaucrats enormous powers to withhold information produced in the course of their public duties that they deem a secret — entirely at their own discretion — and with no effective oversight mechanism to question or overturn such designations. The law also grants the government powers to imprison whistle-blowers, and prohibits disclosure of classified material even if its intention is to protect the public interest. This Draconian law also gives the government power to imprison journalists merely for soliciting information that is classified a secret.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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