from Al Jazeera: "Abe colour" is an expression occasionally used in Japan's domestic media. It means those government policies that reflect Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's personal views, and the term relates to his hawkish security policies. Critics claim the secrecy bill passed into law in December 2013 is said to be one such example of "Abe colour", and it will go into effect this December.
Proper safeguards and oversight bodies were supposed to be included, but critics say that this secrecy law is still far from adequate.
One of the strongest critics of the new law comes from the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, which has asked the government to completely reconsider the law. Yoichi Eto, its representative, told Al Jazeera: "This law simply provides new powers to the government officials. It says that they are authorised to do this or that. But it has nothing to say at all about what officials must not do.
"There are no limits on the scope of this law, and that is its biggest problem," Eto said.
Almost every critic of the law points to the vagueness of its language; the manner in which the line between what is allowed and what is forbidden is not clearly specified.
"If we don't have clarity in the regulations, if we don't have clarity in the law, then we don't know what is the extent of the government's power," said Lawrence Repeta, a law professor at Meiji University in Tokyo. "We don't know how government agencies will use that power, to what degree, to what extent, what range of information may be covered."
Professor Repeta goes on to note that the law makes no distinction about whether or not information is properly designated as a secret, or if release of the information will actually have any negative effect on national security, or if it is demonstrably in the public interest: All that the new law says is that if someone reveals something designated (for whatever reason) as a special secret, then they have committed a crime for which they may spend up to 10 years in prison.