(Sankei: January 15, 2015 – p. 5)
The government decided on Jan. 13 not to submit to the regular Diet session opening on Jan. 26 amendments to the Act on the Punishment of Organized Crimes that would make “conspiring” in the planning and preparation of serious crimes by international terrorist organization a crime punishable by law. This is based on the judgment that the legal amendments, which will trigger conflict with the opposition parties, may affect forthcoming deliberations on security legislation relating to the exercise of the right to collective self-defense. It will submit the amendments to the extraordinary Diet session this fall.
The crime of conspiracy has been criticized by the Democratic Party of Japan and other parties, which claim that “people may be arrested just for meeting, so this may result in the violation of human rights.” The envisioned amendments were not submitted to the regular and extraordinary Diet sessions last year.
So far, Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa has limited her comments to statement: “We will consider carefully the substance of the amendments in light of the people’s anxiety and concerns.”
However, there is now a greater need for the legal measure in light of the terrorist attack on the French weekly newspaper. With the Tokyo Olympic Games taking place in five years, the government wants to pass the amendments after thorough deliberations at the extraordinary Diet session this fall. The government has submitted amendments to the Act on the Punishment of Organized Crimes to the Diet on three occasions in the past but has not succeeded in enacting them.