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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 5 - 11  > Japan PEN: We’ll keep gov’t from violating our freedom of expression
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2017 April 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Japan PEN: We’ll keep gov’t from violating our freedom of expression

April 9, 2017
The Japan P.E.N. Club on April 7 held a rally in Tokyo to oppose the government-sponsored conspiracy bill, criticizing it for depriving them of the right to the freedom of expression.

Along with President of the Club Asada Jiro (writer), novelists, photographers, and manga artists one after another spoke in front of the microphone to express their resolve to work to help kill the bill.

Essayist and psychiatrist Kayama Rika talked about the late proletarian novelist Kobayashi Takiji who was from the same city as Kayama and was tortured to death under the notorious Public Order Maintenance Law, the prewar version of the conspiracy law. She said, “Like Takiji, I also won’t stop writing and speaking up without hesitation. Let us keep resisting the bill!”

Photographer Yamaguchi Katsuhiro said, “Photo journalism plays a role as ‘society’s eyes’ to report facts on the scene. We must not tolerate conspiracy charges which will intimidate photo journalists and force the society’s eyes to be closed.”

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations sent the rally a message of solidarity.

The Japan P.E.N. Club issued a statement warning that the conspiracy bill, if enacted, could infringe upon the absolute right to “freedom of conscience” guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers’ Unions (Shimbun Roren), the Japan Federation of Commercial Broadcast Workers’ Unions (Minpo Roren), and the Japan Federation of Publishing Workers’ Unions (Shuppan Roren) also oppose the bill.

Past related articles:
> No need for ‘secrets protection’ legislation in Japan: PEN club [September 18, 2013]
> Fuwa speaks on 75th anniversary of death of Kobayashi Takiji [February 27, 2008]
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