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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 July 24 - 30  > Lawyers say ‘TPP conflicts with Constitution’
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2013 July 24 - 30 [POLITICS]

Lawyers say ‘TPP conflicts with Constitution’

July 30, 2013
A group of 318 lawyers on July 29 formed a lawyers’ network against Japan’s entry into the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact, saying that clauses in the TPP infringe on Japan’s sovereignty and are inconsistent with the Constitution.

Former President of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations Utsunomiya Kenji initiated the network and became one of the co-heads.

At a press conference held in Tokyo on the same day, Utsunomiya said that the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause in the TPP agreement would undermine domestic laws and regulations for consumer protection in order to give corporations and investors larger economic freedom to do as they please. He stressed that participation into the TPP will affect not only the agricultural sector but also all aspects of people’s lives.

Lawyer Iwatsuki Kouji, who co-heads the network, argued that the ISDS rule conflicts with the Constitution because it violates Article 76 which guarantees judicial independence, and it contradicts Article 41 stipulating that the Diet shall be “the sole law-making organ of the State” .

Lawyer Kawaguchi Hajime, an initiator of the network, stated that by putting pressure on the government to disclose information about the ongoing TPP negotiations and to ultimately withdraw from the talks, those who participate in the network can fulfill their duty as lawyers to protect people’s rights, freedom, and properties.
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