Japan approves contentious bill against planning crimes
Japan approves contentious bill against planning crimes
Japan’s women celebrate their rugby victory
16 Giugno, 2017, 05:25
Japan's lawmakers have passed a controversial bill allowing authorities to target terror conspiracies.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has previously failed to get similar legislation passed, said the law is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks.
Opponents perceive that the legislation is a part of Abe's broader mission to increase state powers, and fears that ordinary citizens could be targeted, despite government assurances to the contrary.
Civil libertiesMr Abe says the law will bring Japan into line with a 17-year-old United Nations treaty on global organised crime and help thwart terrorist plots ahead of the 2020 TokyoOlympics.
Japan expert Lim Tai Wei of the National University of Singapore's East Asian Institute said the recent terror attack in Manchester has given Tokyo the impetus to pass a law that can ensure the Olympics - seen as its "coming-out party" after the 2011 natural disaster and tsunami - can be "executed with minimal problems and challenges".
Hundreds of protesters gather near the parliament building to protest against the controversial anti-terror law in Tokyo on June 15.
"It's only three years until the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and so I'd like to ratify the treaty on organised crime as soon as possible so we can firmly cooperate with global society to prevent terrorism", Abe told reporters.
The legislative body, in which the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a majority, promulgated the law despite the opposition's rejection, after deliberating on Wednesday night.
Opposition Democratic Party leader Renho, who goes by one name, in a statement blasted theruling party tactics and termed the law "brutal" legislation that violated freedom of thought. These concerns were publicly rejected by the Abe government.
The measures would allow a widening of scope for legal wiretapping, with courts more likely to grant police powers for surveillance.
The U.N. special rapporteur on the right to privacy, Joseph Cannataci, sent an open letter to Abe in May raising concerns over the bill.
"The government has been trying to use extensive fear mongering as a way to justify curbing civil liberties and putting democracy in handcuffs", he said.
He also added: "Japan needs to improve its safeguards for privacy, now even more so that this suspicious piece of legislation has been put on the statute books".
The bill was initially driven through a lower house committee amid scenes of mayhem as opposition parties called for the bill to be scrapped due to the potential for its use to infringe on civil rights.
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