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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 December 18 - 24  > Police monitors citizens observing pref. assembly meeting
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2013 December 18 - 24 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Police monitors citizens observing pref. assembly meeting

December 21, 2013
The Saitama Prefectural Police monitored citizens observing a meeting of the education committee of the Prefectural Assembly, the Japanese Communist Party and a civic organization revealed on December 20.

Yanagishita Reiko, who heads the JCP members’ group of the prefectural assembly, New Japan Women’s Association Saitama Branch President Kato Yuriko, and education scholar Fujita Masashi on the same day held a press conference at the Prefectural office building to publicize this fact.

According to them, just before the meeting of the education committee on December 17, a prefectural assembly office worker read out the names of the observers. One of the observers noticed that a man who was writing down the names was someone he knew, a police officer dressed in plain clothes.

Questioned about this by the JCP, the secretariat of the prefectural assembly in reply said it has requested the police to send policemen and has held meetings with the police before every session of the assembly. The secretariat office never informed its assembly members of this practice.

This dispatch of police observers has no basis in law or in the rules of the assembly. No other assembly of major prefectures, such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, invites police officers to observe and take notes of proceedings on a regular basis.

JCP Yanagishita at the press conference said, “Citizens observing an assembly meeting will feel uneasy and may decide not to come if they know a police officer is keeping an eye on them.”
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