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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 July 18 - 24  > Osaka lawyers oppose ordinance bill restricting city workers’ political activities
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2012 July 18 - 24 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Osaka lawyers oppose ordinance bill restricting city workers’ political activities

July 24, 2012
The Osaka Bar Association on July 20 issued its chair’s statement opposing an ordinance bill to restrict Osaka City government workers’ political activities. Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru submitted the bill to the city assembly on July 6.

The statement asserts that the bill violates the Japanese Constitution and the Local Public Service Law. It points out that the bill intends to impose restrictions on the liberty of thought, conscience, assembly, association, and expression, which are guaranteed by the Constitution.

It argues that the limits to political activities should be kept to the minimum necessary because public workers as well as the general public are guaranteed their freedom of expression, especially of political activities, as the basis of democracy. It stresses that these restrictions are excessive.

According to the statement, examples of political activities to be potentially prohibited include: expressing one’s opinion over matters such as whether to restart idled nuclear reactors in the country through social networking services like Twitter on holidays or making an appeal to the public to participate in a demonstration to stop the reactivation of nuclear power plants.

Regarding the fact that the bill allows disciplinary action, including dismissals, to be taken against offenders, the statement expresses concern that workers could undergo heavier punishments than penalties in legal cases. It states that the association objects to the enactment of the bill from the standpoint of protecting human rights and supporting the Constitution.
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