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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 28 - July 4  > Persisting in anti-conspiracy law is ‘shame’: UN human rights expert
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2017 June 28 - July 4 [POLITICS]

Persisting in anti-conspiracy law is ‘shame’: UN human rights expert

July 3, 2017
Joseph Cannataci, a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, recently gave an interview to Akahata, condemning the Abe government for its intent to implement the controversial anti-conspiracy law on July 11 as scheduled.

On May 18, a few days before the ruling parties forced the anti-conspiracy bill through the House of Representatives, Cannataci published an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. In his letter, he expressed deep concern over the bill and asked for clarification on what measures will be taken to protect people’s right to privacy. The Abe administration provided no response to his questions, and just emotionally protested against the letter.

Cannataci said in the Akahata interview that PM Abe promised to “respond firmly” to his letter but that he has received no response as of the end of June.

“I was compelled to write an open letter to the Japanese government because of the extremely short timeframe which the very same government had set itself for pushing through the law,” he said. “To date therefore the Japanese government has shown itself capable of forcing the law through thanks to the brute force conferred by parliamentary numbers but totally incapable of showing why my concerns are unfounded or of persuading any objective observers that I am wrong.”

Cannataci, who calls himself a “critical friend” of the Japanese government, added, “There is no shame in not having got things right the first time round but there should be shame if one persists in error.”

The human rights expert plans to visit Japan on October 1-3 to advocate the importance of privacy safeguards at a symposium to be hosted by civic groups. “Should the government wish to meet me to discuss related matters during that scheduled unofficial visit, I would be very happy to do so,” he said.

Past related articles:
> Gov’t should sincerely respond to UN expert’s letter on ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill: Lawyer [May 31, 2017]
> UN special rapporteur on privacy expresses concern about ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill [May 20 & 21, 2017]
> Abe gov’t protests against UN expert’s letter critical of ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill [May 23, 2017]

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