Forty-two percent of respondents to an Asahi Shimbun survey were opposed to the state secrets protection bill now before the Diet, compared with 30 percent who supported it.
The Nov. 9-10 survey sought to gauge public sentiment on a number of issues.
The Asahi Shimbun asked about the contentious secrecy bill after explaining that the aim of the proposed legislation was to prevent the leaking of diplomatic and national security secrets by strengthening penalties against those who would leak them and those who would illegally obtain them.
Those surveyed were also informed that, in the opinion of some experts, information that might prove inconvenient to the government could be concealed and the people’s right to know could be infringed upon.
The respondents were also asked to choose from four alternatives about whether they fear that the bill, if enacted, will expand the scope of confidential information the government keeps secret.
A combined 68 percent said they are concerned “greatly” or “to some extent,” while a combined 27 percent said they are not worried “so much” or “at all.”
The ruling coalition plans to obtain Diet passage of the bill before the current session ends Dec. 6.
Sixty-four percent of respondents said it is not necessary to pass the bill during the current Diet session, compared with 20 percent who said it is necessary.