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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 28 - April 3  > Tokyo metropolitan ordinance enacted despite potential crackdown on civic rights
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2018 March 28 - April 3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Tokyo metropolitan ordinance enacted despite potential crackdown on civic rights

March 30, 2018
The Tokyo metropolitan assembly at its plenary session on March 29 railroaded through a bill which could lead to an infringement of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Oyama Tomoko, the secretary general of the Japanese Communist Party Assemblypersons' Group, on the same day issued a statement in protest against the steamrollering through of the bill to revise the Anti-Nuisance Ordinance.

She in the statement pointed out, "Tokyo metropolitan government officials in assembly meetings explained that the ordinance would exclude union/civil movements and news-gathering activities from the nuisance list. However, no stipulation in the revised ordinance explicitly states so."

"This revision has a potential to crack down on, for example, people criticizing particular politicians outside the Diet building or on the streets, union activists voicing objections to company policies, or journalists collecting statements for their articles. Moreover, the revision leaves a margin for the police to arrest anyone based on their judgement even without any charge," said Oyama.

Expressing her determination to disallow any misuse of the ordinance and to protect people's constitutional rights, she declared, "The JCP will join hands with as many Tokyo citizens as possible to fight against abuse of power."

The crowd gathering in front of the Tokyo metropolitan government building shouted, "This is an ordinance that can allow for a broad interpretation. Citizen actions could be excessively regulated." One participant said, "The political parties that voted for the bill said the revision would not be applied to civil movements. If so, why is it not explicitly written to that effect in the ordinance?" Another person said, "I don't understand how such an important revision was passed through after only one day of discussion."

Past related article:
> JCP: Revision of Tokyo ordinance will lead to human rights violations [March 20, 2018]
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