(Mainichi: December 4, 2015 – p. 2)
On Dec. 3, the Mainichi Shimbun learned from a Kyodo News report that a total of 25 Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) officials and others have refused to undergo “aptitude assessments” that are conducted based on the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets and investigate the background of civil servants and others handling secrets. The law will mark the first anniversary of its enforcement on Dec. 10, and these are the first confirmed cases of refusal to undergo the aptitude assessments.
There is the possibility that government officials and others who refuse to undergo the screening or who are found in the screening to be “unsuitable” will be pressured to accept workplace reassignments or changes in work duties as they will be unable to handle specially designated secrets.
Of the 25 persons, 24 are associated with the MOD, including 16 MOD officials and 8 defense industry employees, and one is a MOFA official.