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2013 December 4 - 10 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Demonstrators may well be called ‘terrorists’: LDP official

December 4 & 5, 2013
A PR official of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has said that protesters against a state secrets protection bill may well be called “terrorists”.

Lawyers and citizens publicized this remark on December 3.

Regarding the issue that LDP Secretary General Ishiba Shigeru recently commented on his blog that demonstrators are “de facto terrorists”, Lawyer Kanbara Hajime and citizens sent a protest letter on December 2 to the ruling party’s head office.

When the lawyer called the head office the following day to ask for a meeting with Ishiba, a man in charge of the public relations division replied, “Near the Diet building, there are many violent people taking action under the guise of freedom of expression, who deserve to be called terrorists.”

The LDP official went on to say, “We won’t accept your protest letter. We need neither make an apology for Ishiba’s remarks nor explain about the matter,” “Even if you come here in person tomorrow, we will not let you in,” and “Don’t present yourself as a representative of the public.”

Kanbara said at a press conference that day, “The official spoke in a high-handed and abusive manner. Ishiba’s remarks show the nature of the LDP, not just his personal character.”

Nio Atsushi, a 21-year-old participant in the protest actions, said, “We are just voicing our opposition to the secrets protection bill, doing nothing to hurt anyone. If the bill is enacted, peaceful demonstrations may be attacked as acts of terrorism.”


The American business news agency Bloomberg on December 2 posted on its website a column titled “Japan’s Secrets Bill Turns Journalists Into Terrorists”.

Referring to Ishiba’s recent comment on his blog, the columnist said, “(Ishiba) issued a dark warning to anyone like me who might dare to question the bill.”

The writer also pointed out that the state secrecy bill “bears a resemblance” to Japan’s prewar and wartime Public Peace Preservation Law as well as the U.S. Patriot Act which has been subjected to extensive criticism as a violation of human rights.

Citing the fact that journalists in Japan are expressing concerns over the bill and that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s public support dropped to below 50% according to the latest opinion poll, the writer said in conclusion, “It’s up to the terrorists- sorry, concerned members of the public to speak out if they want to stop him (PM Abe).”

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