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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 12 - 18  > Union workers rally to scrap anti-conspiracy bill
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2017 April 12 - 18 [POLITICS]

Union workers rally to scrap anti-conspiracy bill

April 14, 2017
A wide range of trade unions gathered on April 12 in Tokyo, calling for opposition to the controversial anti-conspiracy bill.

Labour Lawyers Association of Japan Secretary General Natsume Ichiro delivered a speech on behalf of the organizing committee. “If the anti-conspiracy bill is enacted, unions' daily activities would be subject to surveillance and wiretapping. Let’s work together to scrap this bill,” he said.

Lawyer Natsume pointed out that the Abe government-sponsored bill bans conspiracy and acts of preparation for forcible confinement and business obstruction conducted in a systematic manner. He stated that under such a law, if union members just plan and prepare an action demanding cancellation of an unfair dismissal or an overnight collective bargaining session to have their demands accepted, they could face criminal charges.

Lawyer Kaido Yuichi gave the keynote address, referring to the historical fact that labor movements in prewar Japan were brutally suppressed under the notorious Public Order Maintenance Law. He noted that the anti-conspiracy bill, a modern version of the wartime law, is designed to primarily target civic and labor movements.

Representatives of many trade unions reported on unwarranted suppression and illegal surveillance carried out by law enforcement authorities across the country. A union member spoke about an incident in which the Oita Prefectural Police secretly videotaped people going in and out of a local union office during the campaign period of last summer’s Upper House election. “An anti-conspiracy law will give a free hand to those in power. If so, Japan will turn into a surveillance society, and freedom and democracy will die,” he said.

The rally was also joined by lawmakers from the Japanese Communist and Democratic parties. JCP member of the House of Representatives Fujino Yasufumi stressed in his speech, “The bill has already been exposed to be completely unreasonable. Let’s kill it by further strengthening public opposition.”

Past related article:
> Rally takes place to protest against start of Diet discussion on ‘conspiracy bill’ [April 7, 2017]

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