Access and use by Japanese public authorities for national security purposes

According to the Japanese authorities, there is no law in Japan permitting compulsory requests for information or "administrative wiretapping" outside criminal investigations. Hence, on national security grounds information may only be obtained from an information source that can be freely accessed by anyone or by voluntary disclosure. Business operators receiving a request for voluntary cooperation (in the form of disclosure of electronic information) are under no legal obligation to provide such information (124).
Also, according to the information received only four government entities are empowered to collect electronic information held by Japanese business operators on national security grounds, namely: (i) the Cabinet Intelligence & Research Office (CIRO); (ii) the Ministry of Defence ("MOD"); (iii) the police (both National Police Agency (NPA) (125) and Prefectural Police); and (iv) the Public Security Intelligence Agency ("PSIA"). However, the CIRO never collects information directly from business operators, including by means of interception of communications. Where it receives information from other government authorities in order to provide analysis to the Cabinet, these other authorities in turn have to comply with the law, including the limitations and safeguards analysed in this Decision. Its activities are thus not relevant in a transfer context.