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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 5 - 11  > Rally takes place to protest against start of Diet discussion on ‘conspiracy bill’
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2017 April 5 - 11 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Rally takes place to protest against start of Diet discussion on ‘conspiracy bill’

April 7, 2017
On April 6 when the Diet started deliberating the “conspiracy bill”, a rally to oppose the bill took place at Hibiya Amphitheater in Tokyo, with 3,700 people participating.

Lawyer Kaido Yuichi gave a speech on behalf of the rally organizers and said, “Japan is now at the crossroads between war and peace. Let’s work hard to kill the bill.”

Nonfiction writer Yoshioka Shinobu, managing director the Japan P.E.N. Club, expressed his opposition to the government-proposed bill by saying that history teaches that every law designed to limit people’s right to freedom of thought had the leeway to allow for stretched interpretations. Hosei University Professor Yamaguchi Jiro, who is a co-head of Save Constitutional Democracy Japan, said that his organization will work together with opposition parties to scrap the bill and bring down the Abe government.

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko and lawmakers from the Democratic Party, Social Democratic Party, Liberal Party, and the parliamentary group Okinawa Whirlwind delivered speeches in solidarity. They expressed their determination to foil the government attempt to enact the bill.

One of the rally participants, a woman living in Kanagawa Prefecture, noted that to discuss various issues with one another is one of the very basic activities of humans. She stressed that the conspiracy bill, which aims to curb discussions, is tantamount to a denial of the normal functioning of human society.

A high-school teacher said that she came to the rally to learn more about the conspiracy bill which she heard will arbitrarily criminalize the act of people getting together to talk. She said that the government will most likely use a conspiracy law for purposes other than foiling terrorist plots.

A South Korean student said, “When I was in my homeland, I engaged in peace movements and my fellow activists’ mobile phones were tapped by the authorities. The enactment of the conspiracy bill could turn Japan into the likes of such a country.”
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