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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 31 - June 6  > Justice Minister: Public Order Maintenance Law was lawful
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2017 May 31 - June 6 [POLITICS]

Justice Minister: Public Order Maintenance Law was lawful

June 4, 2017
Justice Minister Kaneda Katsutoshi stated that the notorious wartime Public Order Maintenance Law, which cracked down on the freedom of thought of the general public, was “lawful.”

“The Public Order Maintenance Law was enacted lawfully, and both detention and sentences given to detainees were legitimate. The present government doesn’t need to compensate the wartime victims for damages caused by the Public Order Maintenance Law or apologize for the law to them. So, we have no intend to conduct any field survey”, Kaneda said.

Kaneda went on to say, “We should leave historical validation of the Public Order Maintenance Law to legal experts.”

He said this in a response to Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Hatano Kimie who on June 2 at a House of Representatives Judicial Affairs Committee asked him about his understanding of the Public Order Maintenance Law.

Hatano said that former Prime Minister Miki Takeo stated, “The wartime Public Order Maintenance Law is the law that we should severely criticize under a democratic constitution from today’s viewpoint (July 30, 1976).”

Hatano strongly condemned Justice Minister Kaneda’s dim understanding and demanded state compensation and the restoration of honor for victims of the Public Order Maintenance Law.

***

Kobe Gakuin University Professor Uchida Hirofumi, an expert on the Public Order Maintenance Law, made the following comment regarding the statement of Justice Minister Kaneda.

“The Public Order Maintenance Law was enacted through formal procedures. However, when the law actually came into force in violation of the Constitution of the Great Empire of Japan (the Meiji Constitution), the government cracked down on legal activities or speeches of legitimate political parties or labor unions by using the law. Now, the Abe administration insists that an ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill and the prewar unconstitutional Public Order Maintenance Law are completely different. However, if the administration makes this claim, it must show clear reasons for its necessity and explain the validity of the bill to the public. Policymakers should also take into account the general public’s doubts about and resistance to the bill.”
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