Individual redress

As regards individual redress, with respect to personal information collected and thus "retained" by Administrative Organs, the latter are under an obligation to "endeavour to properly and expeditiously process any complaints" regarding such processing (Article 48 APPIHAO).
Moreover, unlike for criminal investigations, individuals (including foreign nationals living abroad) have in principle a right to disclosure (139), correction (including deletion) and suspension of use/provision under the APPIHAO. This being said, the head of the Administrative Organ may refuse disclosure with respect to information "for which there are reasonable grounds […] to find that disclosure is likely to cause harm to national security" (Article 14(iv) APPIHAO) and may even do so without revealing the existence of such information (Article 17 APPIHAO). Likewise, while an individual may request suspension of use or deletion pursuant to Article 36(1)(i) APPIHAO in case the Administrative Organ has obtained the information unlawfully or retains/uses it beyond what is necessary to achieve the specified purpose, the authority may reject the request if it finds that the suspension of use "is likely to hinder the proper execution of the affairs pertaining to the Purpose of Use of the Retained Personal Information due to the nature of the said affairs" (Article 38 APPIHAO). Still, where it is possible to easily separate and exclude portions that are subject to an exception, Administrative Organs are required to grant at least partial disclosure (see e.g. Article 15(1) APPIHAO) (140).
In any event, the Administrative Organ has to take a written decision within a certain period (30 days, which under certain conditions can be extended by an additional 30 days). If the request is rejected, only partially granted, or if the individual for other reasons considers the conduct of the Administrative Organ to be "illegal or unjust", the individual may request administrative review based on the Administrative Complaint Review Act (141). In such a case, the head of the Administrative Organ deciding on the appeal shall consult the Information Disclosure and Personal Information Protection Review Board (Articles 42, 43 APPIHAO), a specialised, independent board whose members are appointed by the Prime Minister with consent of both Houses of the Diet. According to the information received, the Review Board may carry out an examination (142) and in this respect request the Administrative Organ to provide the retained personal information, including any classified content, as well as further information and documents. While the ultimate report sent to the complainant as well as the Administrative Organ and made public is not legally binding, it is in almost all cases followed (143). Moreover, the individual has the possibility to challenge the appeal decision in court based on the Administrative Case Litigation Act. This opens the way for judicial control of the use of the national security exception(s), including of whether such an exception has been abused or is still justified.
In order to facilitate the exercise of the above-mentioned rights under the APPIHAO, the MIC has established 51 "comprehensive information centres" that provide consolidated information on those rights, the applicable procedures to make a request and possible avenues for redress (144). As regards the Administrative Organs, they are required to provide "information that contributes to specifying the Retained Personal Information held" (145) and to take "other adequate measures in consideration of the convenience of the person who intends to make the request" (Article 47(1) of the APPIHAO).
As is the case for investigations in the area of criminal law enforcement, also in the area of national security individuals may obtain individual redress by directly contacting the PPC. This will trigger the specific dispute resolution procedure that the Japanese government has created for EU individuals whose personal data is transferred under this Decision (see detailed explanations in recitals 141 to 144, 149).
In addition, individuals may seek judicial redress in the form of a damage action under the State Redress Act, which also covers moral harm and under certain conditions the deletion of the collected data (see recital 147).