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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 26 - May 9  > Media workers issue statement opposing ‘anti-conspiracy bill’
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2017 April 26 - May 9 [POLITICS]

Media workers issue statement opposing ‘anti-conspiracy bill’

April 28, 2017
A group of journalists, broadcast producers, authors, and other media-related people on April 27 published a statement condemning the “anti-conspiracy bill” for infringing on the freedom of speech, expression, and press. The bill is now being discussed in the Diet.

On the same day, 14 of the 32 statement signatories held a press conference in the Diet building.

Kishii Shigetada, a special member of the editorial board of the Mainichi Shimbun, said that the more he listens to Diet deliberations on the bill, the more he becomes convinced that the bill has nothing to do with anti-terrorism measures although the government insists that the bill is necessary to prevent terrorism. Kishii noted that under the Abe regime, the state secrets law was enacted, the Cabinet lifted a ban on Japan’s use of the collective self-defense right, the war laws were introduced, and then the anti-conspiracy bill was proposed. He pointed out that these actions are all in line with Abe’s move to become even more loyal to the U.S.

Kobayashi Yoshinori, a manga artist, said that if the bill is enacted, it will allow the wiretapping of citizens who stand up to and oppose abuses of state power. He stated that these potential victims’ rights should be properly safeguarded or democracy cannot function.

Journalist Tahara Soichiro said that the anti-conspiracy bill reminds him of the 1925 Public Order Maintenance Act and that he will oppose the bill at any cost. The notorious act severely restricted civil liberties before and during WWII and was abolished in 1945.

Torigoe Shuntaro, who is also a journalist, said, “In the 1930s, proletarian writer Kobayashi Takiji was arrested and tortured to death by police under the Public Order Maintenance Act. The proposed anti-conspiracy bill is the strongest challenge to Japanese democracy since the end of WWII.”
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