Sábado, 17 Noviembre, 2018

Japan Passes Controversial Terror Law

Japan's women celebrate their victory Japan’s women celebrate their rugby victory
Galeno Paniagua | 16 Junio, 2017, 05:22

The government defended the bill with a view to prevent terrorism, specially when Japan is all set to host Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

But rights groups, Japan's national bar association and numerous academics have opposed the bill, saying it is so broad it could be abused to allow wiretapping of innocent citizens and threaten privacy and freedom of expression guarantees in the constitution.

Abe said that the bill was passed to prevent terrorism and would be an appropriate, effective way to protect the lives of Japanese people.

Terrorism "won't disappear because of this law", said 29-year-old demonstrator Yohei Sakano outside parliament.

"It is unforgivable that the ruling coalition has become a yes man of Prime Minister Abe and abandoned its responsibility to supervise the government", she added according to the Japan Times.

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The vote on the bill, which has divided the public, followed opposition party delaying tactics, protests and concerns raised by a United Nations expert - who called the legislation "defective" - and came days before the current session of parliament was set to end on June 18.

"Three years ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, we hope to cooperate with the global community to prevent terror", he added.

The bill was revised several times over the years as earlier versions met with fierce resistance and did not make it through parliament.

The U.N. special rapporteur on the right to privacy, Joseph Cannataci, wrote to Abe last month asking him to address the risk that the changes could "lead to undue restrictions to the rights to privacy and to freedom of expression".In an email to Reuters, Cannataci said the Japanese government had used "the psychology of fear" to push through "defective legislation".

Japan's more powerful lower house passed the bill last month.

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The latest bill reduced the number of targeted crimes to over 270 offences and narrowed the definition of terrorist and criminal organisations.

Opposition politicians accused the government of trying to avoid scrutiny of the bill and its policies, amid allegations of influence peddling swirling around the prime minister.

The unusual tactic was condemned by opposition leader Renho of the Democratic Party, who called it the "ultimate form of (parliamentary) railroading".

"Additionally, "[it] would permit the application of laws for crimes which appear to be totally unrelated with the scope of organised crime and terrorism", Cannataci said in an open letter to Japan's Prime Minister.

Some even compare the law to Japan's World War II-era "thought police".

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