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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 14 - 20  > Strengthen public movement to abolish unconstitutional ‘anti-conspiracy law’
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2017 June 14 - 20 TOP3 [POLITICS]
editorial 

Strengthen public movement to abolish unconstitutional ‘anti-conspiracy law’

June 16, 2017
Akahata editorial

An “anti-conspiracy bill” which aims to punish people’s thoughts was approved and became law at a House of Councilors plenary session on the morning of June 15 with a majority support of the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties and the Nippon Ishin no Kai despite all-night resistance from anti-Abe opposition parties in the Diet. In defiance of the people’s voices of protest surrounding the Diet building and public opposition, the Prime Minister Abe Shinzo-led coalition used its force of numbers to ram though the unconstitutional bill. Such an outrageous act is totally unacceptable. Diet deliberations aroused much fears that the criminalization of conspiracy will bring about human rights violations and create a surveillance society, which should never be allowed. The urgent need is to strengthen the public movement to abolish the “anti-conspiracy” law and foil the Abe government’s reckless attempt to change Japan into a war-fighting nation.

Abe administration’s repeated outrages provoke public anger

Only when individuals commit crimes will they be punished. This is the fundamental principle of the Japanese Criminal Code. The “anti-conspiracy” law will distort this principle and infringe on basic human rights, including the right to freedom of thought and belief. Such legislation is unconstitutional. With the aim to mask this fact and mislead the general public, the Abe government in Diet deliberations explained that the measure is designed to prevent terrorism and that it does not cover ordinary people. However, grilled by opposition parties, the government provided inconsistent explanations and reached an impasse. This was shown by the fact that in opinion polls conducted during Diet discussions, more and more people expressed their doubts and concerns.

The Abe administration disregarded the Diet rule and adopted a strategy of skipping the committee-level approval which effectively put an end to discussions in the House of Councilors Judicial Affairs Committee. This indicates how frustrated the Abe government was. The government’s high-handed act fueled public anger and shed light on the extremely dangerous and conflicted nature of the “anti-conspiracy” law.

Without making any effort to address public doubts, PM Abe’s coalition repeatedly used its force of numbers to further its agenda. The need is to increase public movements to abolish the unconstitutional anti-conspiracy law, prevent police authorities from using illegitimate investigation methods and infringing on citizens’ human rights, and stop the Abe government’s moves to create a surveillance society.

After the Second Abe Cabinet was established in December 2012, PM Abe almost every year enacted unconstitutional legislation to turn Japan into a war-fighting country in defiance of public objections.

In 2013, the State Secrets Protection Law, which is designed to restrict the freedom of expression and people’s right to know, was enacted. Two years later, with a large crowd of protesters surrounding the Diet building, the ruling coalition lawmakers voted for the national security laws, dubbed the war laws, in order to allow the Self-Defense Forces to use arms overseas. This time, the anti-conspiracy law was enacted to monitor citizens’ thoughts. On top of that, on this year’s Constitution Memorial Day (May 3), PM Abe stated that he will seek to change the Constitution to legitimize the SDF, adding that he will work to have this constitutional amendment implemented in 2020. Abe is speeding up his move to undermine the pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution. Such a reckless move is unacceptable.

To start anew a campaign to abolish the unconstitutional law - the State Secrets Protection Law, the war laws, and the anti-conspiracy law - is the urgent task at hand. It is also essential to block Abe’s ambition for a constitutional amendment as well as to restore constitutionalism, democracy, and pacifism in Japan’s politics.

Let’s hand down ‘guilty verdict’ on Abe’s runaway policies

The Abe government was eager to enact the anti-conspiracy bill. On the other hand, it refuses to respond to the public call to disclose information regarding scandals that Abe is alleged to have used his political influence to favor a close friend who operates the school corporation Kake Gakuen as well as a strong supporter who operates the school corporation Moritomo Gakuen. Public anger is growing against the Abe government which pays no attention to public opinion. The Abe government is unqualified to lead the country.

In order to bring down the Abe government, concerned citizens and opposition parties should step up their joint efforts. With the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election campaign scheduled to officially start on June 23, it is more important than ever for Tokyo residents to force PM Abe to step down.

Past related articles:
> PEN International issues statement opposing ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill [June 6, 2017]
> Ruling coalition railroads ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill through Lower House [ May 24, 2017]
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