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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 21 - 27  > JFBA holds study meeting to abolish ‘anti-conspiracy’ law
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2017 June 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

JFBA holds study meeting to abolish ‘anti-conspiracy’ law

June 22, 2017
As part of efforts to repeal the “anti-conspiracy” law, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) on June 21 held a study meeting on how the recently-enacted law will restrict civil liberties.

The law to criminalize conspiracy was forcibly enacted on June 15 by the ruling coalition in defiance of public concern that the measure would lead to excessive police surveillance of the general public. In addition, concerned citizens and legal experts pointed to the possibility that the bill will be used to crack down on civil movements.

Around 130 people, including Japanese Communist lawmakers Yamazoe Taku and Hatano Kimie, took part in the meeting held in the Diet building.

In the meeting, a UN expert’s comment on the law’s passage was introduced to the participants. Joseph Cannataci, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, in his comment expressed his deep disappointment over the forcible enactment of the anti-conspiracy law. He stressed that the Abe government’s explanation about the law’s necessity is not persuasive to people in Japan or to members of the international community concerned with human rights issues and the right to privacy.

In his comment, Cannataci mentioned an open letter that he had sent to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo when the Diet was discussing the anti-conspiracy bill. The letter pointed out that the bill would infringe on people’s right to privacy. The UN experts criticized the Japanese government for making no response to his letter. He said that he will keep urging the government to improve measures to protect personal privacy.

JFBA Vice President Yoshioka Kosuke noted that the anti-conspiracy law could transform the basic principles of Japan’ Criminal Code system. He said, “The JFBA, as an organization of legal experts, has been and will keep opposing any laws that would damage individuals’ rights and freedom.”

Ritsumeikan University Professor Matsumiya Taka’aki said that although the government had explained that the anti-conspiracy bill is necessary for terrorism prevention, the bill was later found to have nothing to do with counter-terrorism measures.

Kaido Yuichi, vice head of the JFBA taskforce on the anti-conspiracy law, said that the law does not specify what kinds of acts will be subject to criminal prosecution. He stressed that this is the most serious problem with the law. Kaido said, “The anti-conspiracy law should be abolished without delay. It violates the Constitution as well as international human rights law.”

Past related article:
> Strengthen public movement to abolish unconstitutional ‘anti-conspiracy law’ [June 16, 2017]
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