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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 5 - 11  > We will kill ‘conspiracy bill’ without fail: Shii
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2017 April 5 - 11 [JCP]

We will kill ‘conspiracy bill’ without fail: Shii

April 7, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference held on April 6 in the Diet building expressed his determination to “frustrate at any cost” the passing of the so-called “conspiracy bill” on which the governing parties initiated the discussion earlier on the same day.

He said, “I will commit myself to have the bill thoroughly debated in the Diet in order to scrap it in collaboration with other opposition parties and civil movements.”

Under the bill, what can be discussed could be subject to punishment depending on the context. Regarding this point, Shii condemned the bill as literally unconstitutional and for infringing upon the people’s right to freedom of thought and conscience, and voiced concern over the possible birth of a surveillance society forcing the public to be afraid and silent.

The bill in question will authorize investigative organizations to determine whether a target of surveillance is an “organized crime ring”. Shii warned, “Civic movements and organized activities by the general public would also be subject to punishment.”

The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties dismissed the Penal Code revision bill which was submitted to the Diet before the “conspiracy bill” apparently with a view to pass the latter through the Lower House before the end of April. Shii criticized such Diet proceedings for “ignoring parliamentary democracy.”

The Abe government renamed the controversial bill a “bill to criminalize the act of preparing for acts of terrorism” and explains that the enactment of the bill is necessary for Japan to conclude the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (TOC Treaty). However, Shii pointed out, “This treaty is not a counterterrorism pact.”

In July 2000, at a meeting of the committee drafting the treaty, participating nations discussed whether the accord should deal with terrorism. Along with 17 major countries, Japan opposed including terrorism among crimes covered by the treaty. As a result, the treaty excluding terrorism from its scope was signed.

Japan is already a signatory to 13 international anti-terrorism treaties and also has domestic laws related to terrorism prevention.

Past related articles:
> Conspiracy bill is modern version of oppressive wartime law: human rights lawyer [March 23, 2017]
> ‘Conspiracy bill’ submitted to Diet, provoking public anger [March 22, 2017]
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