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Japan’s State Secrecy Debate: A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis

van der List, Bobbie (2015) ACET35
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University
Abstract
The Japanese government managed to implement the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (SDS) in late 2014, making it easier for government agencies to withhold information. The debate that was ignited by the SDS is central to this thesis. Existing research on the SDS can be characterized as a battle for truth, with a focus on the surface effects of the law. In contrast, this paper approaches the debate as a discourse, with a particular focus on the Japanese government and the Japanese media. Essentially both of them claim to act in the national interest, but their arguments have thus far not been scrutinized. This paper has identified three fundamental arguments in the state secrecy debate: “safety” (the government’s reason... (More)
The Japanese government managed to implement the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (SDS) in late 2014, making it easier for government agencies to withhold information. The debate that was ignited by the SDS is central to this thesis. Existing research on the SDS can be characterized as a battle for truth, with a focus on the surface effects of the law. In contrast, this paper approaches the debate as a discourse, with a particular focus on the Japanese government and the Japanese media. Essentially both of them claim to act in the national interest, but their arguments have thus far not been scrutinized. This paper has identified three fundamental arguments in the state secrecy debate: “safety” (the government’s reason for proposing the SDS), the “right to know” (mass-media criticism of the SDS) and “transparency” (the counter-argument by the government to the “right to know” critique). Utilizing Foucault’s understanding of discourse, this thesis focuses on statements made by media and government in which the aforementioned arguments appear, and scrutinizing the unproblematic manner in which they are accepted as arguments to further Japanese public interest. (Less)
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author
van der List, Bobbie
supervisor
organization
course
ACET35
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Japan, SDS, state secrecy debate, safety, right to know, transparency, national security, discursive object
language
English
id
8852121
date added to LUP
2016-03-14 11:26:56
date last changed
2016-03-14 11:26:56
@misc{8852121,
  abstract     = {The Japanese government managed to implement the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets (SDS) in late 2014, making it easier for government agencies to withhold information. The debate that was ignited by the SDS is central to this thesis. Existing research on the SDS can be characterized as a battle for truth, with a focus on the surface effects of the law. In contrast, this paper approaches the debate as a discourse, with a particular focus on the Japanese government and the Japanese media. Essentially both of them claim to act in the national interest, but their arguments have thus far not been scrutinized. This paper has identified three fundamental arguments in the state secrecy debate: “safety” (the government’s reason for proposing the SDS), the “right to know” (mass-media criticism of the SDS) and “transparency” (the counter-argument by the government to the “right to know” critique). Utilizing Foucault’s understanding of discourse, this thesis focuses on statements made by media and government in which the aforementioned arguments appear, and scrutinizing the unproblematic manner in which they are accepted as arguments to further Japanese public interest.},
  author       = {van der List, Bobbie},
  keyword      = {Japan,SDS,state secrecy debate,safety,right to know,transparency,national security,discursive object},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Japan’s State Secrecy Debate: A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis},
  year         = {2015},
}