Japan’s new law effectively silences political documentary filmmakers (and others)

Today, Dec 10th 2014, a new law went into effect in Japan. This law (see article below) gives stiff penalties to those deemed to be leaking state secrets and, more terrifyingly, those who request the information!

This will stop the production of any documentaries not just about Japan’s politicians and their corruption but also anything about the fiasco that is the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Any story that might be touched by government action is now in jeopardy as what exactly is considered a ‘state secret’ can be redefined at any time (under the terms of the law).

I am not a political person per se, but even I can see how this could directly impact me. If I start complaining about the lack of tax and government support for the film industry – and seek to dig into it – could even I, a lowly blogger, be in violation of the law? Only time will tell.

It is a dark day for personal freedom in Japan.

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Phil Smy

I am currently a student in the Raindance Film Degree Masters program. This site comes from the research I am doing as I learn more about film production and distribution.

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