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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 24 - 30  > UN human rights expert argues against Japanese gov’t
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2017 May 24 - 30 TOP3 [POLITICS]

UN human rights expert argues against Japanese gov’t

May 24, 2017

UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy Joseph Cannataci on May 22 argued against the Japanese government which had lodged a “strong protest” against his open letter critical of the “anti-conspiracy” bill currently under discussion in the Japanese Diet.

Lawyers and NGO members objecting to the bill held a press conference in the Diet building on the following day to make public Cannataci’s counterargument in which he criticized the government for using only angry words without substance.

Cannataci released an open letter dated May 18 addressed to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, writing that the bill in question could violate people’s right to privacy. Reacting to this letter, the Japanese government “strongly” protested as “it is issued unilaterally without listening to Japan’s explanation”, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide flatly rejected the expert’s concerns by saying, “It is only the report of an individual person not reflecting the UN position.”

The rapporteur in the second letter pointed out that the Japanese government’s protest did not even address any of his concerns regarding privacy and other issues.

In addition, he expressed deep anger at an attempt to force through the bill without providing any substantive rebuttal or correction. He said, “There is absolutely no justification for the Japanese government to behave in this way and push through seriously defective legislation in such a rush.”

According to Lawyer Kaido Yuichi, a Special Rapporteur is an independent UN human rights expert. He said, “The government of Japan in the UN Human Rights Council promises that Japan will accept UN inspections into Japan’s human-rights situation at any time,” criticizing, “the government spokesperson for “failing to grasp the meaning of UN procedures”.

He went on to say, “First, Japan should respond to questions from the United Nations. Ignoring the UN questions in order to push ahead with voting on such a controversial bill is like declaring to the world that Japan is not a democratic nation.”

Past related articles:
> Abe gov’t protests against UN expert’s letter critical of ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill [May 23, 2017]
> UN special rapporteur on privacy expresses concern about ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill [May 21, 2017]
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