FAS Note: See also Senator Feinstein's November 10, 1999 floor statement introducing this bill.
106th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1902 To require disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act regarding certain persons and records of the Japanese Imperial Army in a manner that does not impair any investigation or prosecution conducted by the Department of Justice or certain intelligence matters, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 10, 1999
Mrs. FEINSTEIN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
A BILL To require disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act regarding certain persons and records of the Japanese Imperial Army in a manner that does not impair any investigation or prosecution conducted by the Department of Justice or certain intelligence matters, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Japanese Imperial Army Disclosure Act'.
SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF JAPANESE IMPERIAL ARMY RECORDS INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP.
(a) DEFINITIONS- In this section:
(1) AGENCY- The term `agency' has the meaning given such term under section 551 of title 5, United States Code.
(2) INTERAGENCY GROUP- The term `Interagency Group' means the Japanese Imperial Army Records Interagency Working Group established under subsection (b).
(3) JAPANESE IMPERIAL ARMY RECORDS- The term `Japanese Imperial Army records' means classified records or portions of records that pertain to any person with respect to whom the United States Government, in its sole discretion, has grounds to believe ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the experimentation and persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political option, during the period beginning September 18, 1931, and ending on December 31, 1948, under the direction of, or in association with--
(A) the Japanese Imperial Army;
(B) any government in any area occupied by the military forces of the Japanese Imperial Army;
(C) any government established with the assistance or cooperation of the Japanese Imperial Army; or
(D) any government which was an ally of the Imperial Army of Japan.
(4) RECORD- The term `record' means a Japanese Imperial Army record.
(b) ESTABLISHMENT OF INTERAGENCY GROUP-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall establish the Japanese Imperial Army Records Interagency Working Group, which shall remain in existence for 3 years after the date the Interagency Group is established.
(2) MEMBERSHIP- The President shall appoint to the Interagency Group individuals whom the President determines will most completely and effectively carry out the functions of the Interagency Group within the time limitations provided in this section, including the Historian of the Department of State, the Archivist of the United States, the head of any other agency the President considers appropriate, and no more than 3 other persons. The head of an agency appointed by the President may designate an appropriate officer to serve on the Interagency Group in lieu of the head of such agency.
(3) INITIAL MEETING- Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Interagency Group shall hold an initial meeting and begin the functions required under this section.
(c) FUNCTIONS- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Interagency Group shall, to the greatest extent possible consistent with section 3 of this Act--
(1) locate, identify, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration, all classified Japanese Imperial Army records of the United States;
(2) coordinate with agencies and take such actions as necessary to expedite the release of such records to the public; and
(3) submit a report to Congress, including the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the House of Representatives, describing all such records, the disposition of such records, and the activities of the Interagency Group and agencies under this section.
(d) FUNDING- There are authorized to be appropriated such sum as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 3. REQUIREMENT OF DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS.
(a) RELEASE OF RECORDS-
(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (4), the Japanese Imperial Army Records Interagency Working Group shall release in their entirety Japanese Imperial Army records.
(2) EXCEPTION FOR PRIVACY- An agency head may exempt from release under paragraph (1) specific information, that would--
(A) constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(B) reveal the identity of a confidential human source, or reveal information about the application of an intelligence source or method, or reveal the identity of a human intelligence source when the unauthorized disclosure of that source would clearly and demonstrably damage the national security interests of the United States;
(C) reveal information that would assist in the development or use of weapons of mass destruction;
(D) reveal information that would impair United States cryptologic systems or activities;
(E) reveal information that would impair the application of state-of-the-art technology within a United States weapon system;
(F) reveal actual United States military war plans that remain in effect;
(G) reveal information that would seriously and demonstrably impair relations between the United States and a foreign government, or seriously and demonstrably undermine ongoing diplomatic activities of the United States;
(H) reveal information that would clearly, and demonstrably impair the current ability of United States Government officials to protect the President, Vice President, and other officials for whom protection services are authorized in the interest of national security;
(I) reveal information that would seriously and demonstrably impair current national security emergency preparedness plans; or
(J) violate a treaty or other international agreement.
(3) APPLICATIONS OF EXEMPTIONS-
(A) IN GENERAL- In applying the exemptions provided in subparagraphs (B) through (J) of paragraph (2), there shall be a presumption that the public interest will be served by disclosure and release of the records of the Japanese Imperial Army. The exemption may be asserted only when the head of the agency that maintains the records determines that disclosure and release would be harmful to a specific interest identified in the exemption. An agency head who makes such a determination shall promptly report it to the committees of Congress with appropriate jurisdiction, including the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the House of Representatives.
(B) APPLICATION OF TITLE 5- A determination by an agency head to apply an exemption provided in subparagraphs (B) through (I) of paragraph (2) shall be subject to the same standard of review that applies in the case of records withheld under section 552(b)(1) of title 5, United States Code.
(4) LIMITATION ON EXEMPTIONS-
(A) IN GENERAL- The exemptions set forth in paragraph (2) shall constitute the only grounds pursuant to which an agency head may exempt records otherwise subject to release under paragraph (1).
(B) RECORDS RELATED TO INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTIONS- This subsection shall not apply to records--
(i) related to or supporting any active or inactive investigation, inquiry, or prosecution by the Office of Special Investigations of the Department of Justice; or
(ii) solely in the possession, custody, or control of the Office of Special Investigations.
(b) INAPPLICABILITY OF NATIONAL SECURITY ACT OF 1947 EXEMPTION- Section 701(a) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 431) shall not apply to any operational file, or any portion of any operational file, that constitutes a Japanese Imperial Army record under this Act.
SEC. 4. EXPEDITED PROCESSING OF FOIA REQUESTS FOR JAPANESE IMPERIAL ARMY RECORDS.
For purposes of expedited processing under section 552(a)(6)(E) of title 5, United States Code, any person who was persecuted in the manner described in section 2(a)(3) and who requests a Japanese Imperial Army record shall be deemed to have a compelling need for such record.
SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.
The provisions of this Act shall take effect on the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.