Law to create Japanese security clearance system enacted

Japan's Diet has passed a bill to set up a system for controlling access to information deemed critical to the country's economic security.

The bill was enacted in an Upper House plenary session on Friday.

The system applies to data that can pose risks to national security if leaked.

The information will be classified, with access limited to people with government clearance, including employees of private-sector companies.

The bill had been revised in the Lower House through consultation by the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner Komeito and three opposition parties.

The new law requires the government to report to the Diet every year how it applies the system to conduct security clearance checks. Such reports should also cover classified information designation and removal.

The legislation stipulates that information be classified based on operational criteria.

The government plans to set up an expert panel to discuss the criteria.