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Lower House begins discussing conspiracy crime bill

The Lower House on April 21 began discussing a bill to introduce the concept of "crime of conspiracy" that makes it a crime to be involved in what the police "identify" as a "conspiracy" even if no actual crime is committed.

In spite of protests from opposition party members, Justice Minister Sugiura Seiken on April 21 gave the House of Representatives Judicial Affairs Committee an explanation of the bill to revise the law concerning punishment of organized crimes.

The bill newly establishes "conspiracy crime" in regard to all crimes that are punishable by imprisonment of four years or more is tantamount to a modern-day version of the "Maintenance of Public Order Law" and a violation of the freedom of expression and thought.

A similar bill has been scrapped twice in the Diet since the government submitted it in 2003. Intending to pass the bill through the House in April, the ruling parties proposed a revised bill with a few additions.
- Akahata, April 22, 2006

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