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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 May 11 - 17  > Bill to increase gov’t control over economy and R&D activities under pretext of national security enacted
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2022 May 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

Bill to increase gov’t control over economy and R&D activities under pretext of national security enacted

May 12 & 13, 2022

A bill to integrate Japan’s economic policy with diplomatic and defense policies as a pillar of the country’s national security strategy was approved and enacted with majority votes at a plenary session of the House of Councilors on May 11. The Japanese Communist Party voted against the bill.

In discussions prior to the vote, JCP lawmaker Tamura Tomoko pointed out that the bill is in line with the U.S. national security policy which regards China’s economic and military power as threats to the U.S. Her statement is proved by the fact that the bill was introduced in the Diet after the January summit meeting between Prime Minister Kishida and U.S. President Biden in which they confirmed the two countries’ close cooperation on economic and national security issues with an anticipated power struggle with China in mind.

Tamura pointed out that the bill, if enacted, will incorporate business and R&D activities into the national security strategy that assumes the existence of a hypothetical enemy. She said that this will bring about monitoring and control by the government over private corporations and research institutions such as universities.

Furthermore, Tamura noted that during Diet discussions, the government said that the bill gives no definition to the term “economic security” and failed to explain in detail what the proposed law aims to accomplish and how it is to be applied. According to the bill, the details of 138 sections of the law will be determined later by Cabinet order and ministerial ordinance. A Cabinet order is established by the Cabinet while a ministerial ordinance is issued by a relevant minister. Diet discussion is not required to implement such orders or ordinances.

Tamura said, “The bill will give the Cabinet and government ministries a free hand to determine the scope and the way of the application of the law although it will be introduced by using national security as a pretext. It is unacceptable.”

Past related article:
> Bill aimed at promoting R&D of military-related technology should be abolished [April 9, 2022]

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