US vs Japan: The Difference in Whistleblowers Laws
In the United States, if someone is working for a corporation, government agency, or other legal entity, and discovers that there is illegal activity taking place, they have legal protection under the Whistleblowers Act to report these violations.
The Act, as explained by www.whistleblowersattorneys.com, was first established under President Lincoln to fight war profiteers that were defrauding the government by charging for services and goods that they did not provide. Since its inception, it has gone on to provide protection for revealing any type of illegal activity that can be connected financially to the government.
These protections include freedom from prosecution, freedom from job loss or demotion, and a financial reward if the government reclaims any of the money it was defrauded by the company or entity in question. This is a good law, and is much better than what occurs in Japan.
Japan and the Question of Freedom
Japan has always been a country associated with secrecy, especially within their government. Despite many efforts to have a clear and transparent government, Japan is often seen as “opaque” at best. This may be changing very soon, and for the worse.
New laws that have passed the lower house of representatives in the Japanese government would all but stifle whistleblowing. This law lays out very strict punishments for anyone that is considering speaking out against government fraud and waste, and even more severe punishments for those that report the events.
The laws gives the government permission to seize information from news agencies that would be considered “leaking data,” and it states that there will be a minimum ten year jail sentence for anyone that participates in such activity.
The law goes on to give the government permission to classify everything that it does as secret and cannot be revealed to the public. The secret classifications would be divided into four separate categories, providing the ability for anything the government does to be classified.
Japanese citizens have been protesting this potential law for several weeks. The upper house has not passed this law at this time. However, it is anticipated that they will in an effort to protect information about the Fukishima nuclear disaster and protect their ability to host the Olympics in 2020.
In the U.S, people should be pleased to know that someone who reveals corruption in the United States is given protection and is often financially rewarded. It is the belief of many that without the efforts of the people who speak up, the taxpayer would suffer an even heavier burden and many people would suffer due to the fraud.
Whistleblower attorneys are available to help U.S. citizens make a claim. These attorneys make sure that rights are protected under the law and that they receive any reward to which they are entitled. The protection from persecution is granted in the Act itself, and must be adhered to as the law of the land.
Writer Melanie Fleury feels very blessed to live in a country where she can speak up about wrongdoing. She was able to learn more about the history of and laws related to whistleblowing on www.whistleblowersattorneys.com. She hopes that those in a position to report corruption will feel comfortable knowing that they are protected.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39910064@N07/5437329696/
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