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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 24 - 30  > Ruling coalition railroads ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill through Lower House
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2017 May 24 - 30 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Ruling coalition railroads ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill through Lower House

May 24, 2017
The ruling coalition on May 23 railroaded the “anti-conspiracy” bill through the House of Representatives amid growing criticism from inside and outside Japan that the bill will infringe on people’s freedom of thought. The bill was sent to the House of Councilors.

After the bill’s passage, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference expressed his determination to keep working to kill the bill. Citing recent opinion polls, Shii pointed out that nearly 80% of the general public responded that the government has failed to fulfill its responsibility to explain the draft law. He criticized the government for not taking seriously a letter to the Prime Minister from a UN Special Rapporteur which shows concern that the bill may affect the right to privacy and other basic human rights.

Shii stressed, “Without sufficiently providing explanation to the Diet and the UN, the ruling parties took the vote on the bill in defiance of mounting public criticism. Such an act is unacceptable. The government should sincerely respond to the critical opinion presented by the UN expert.”

On the same day, protest actions to oppose the forcible voting on the bill took place in Tokyo, Hokkaido, Saitama, Nagano, Osaka, Kochi, and other locations across the country.

In front of the Diet building in Tokyo, a protest action was held throughout the day. Around 1,500 people gathered at 3 p.m. when the plenary meeting of the House of Representatives started. Following news of the passage of the bill, the rally participants raised their voice in anger.

An 83-year-old woman from Chiba said that the bill to criminalize conspiracy reminds her of her childhood in wartime when civil liberties were severely suppressed. She stated that the governing parties should be ashamed of forcing the bill through the Lower House.

In the evening, a crowd of 2,400 filled the road near the Diet building. A 22-year-old man joined the action after finishing work. He said, “I’m furious at the Abe government which keeps ignoring people’s voices. I will keep on fighting to put an end to the Abe regime.”
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