(Sankei: November 18, 2015 – Top Play)
With the simultaneous terrorist attacks in Paris in mind, the government and the ruling parties began on Nov. 17 deliberating on resubmitting to the Diet a bill for revising the Law on Punishment of Organized Crimes as a domestic counterterrorism measure. If enacted, the revised law will make punishable even participation in a plot to commit a serious crime. As Japan will host the G7 summit (Ise-Shima Summit) next year, the government will introduce the newest methods employed by U.S. and the UK intelligence agencies so that Tokyo can improve its counterterrorism capability. The government will also hold a meeting of specialists on international terrorism and organized crime in February next year.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki told the press on Nov. 17: “Japan will host the G7 Summit next year. We will not be fully able to take necessary measures without sufficient information.” Thus Tanigaki expressed the view that it is necessary to cooperate with the international community by making conspiracy a crime. LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura said during a meeting of the LDP leadership, “We need to make a good legal framework.”
The United Nations adopted in 2000 “the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.” After Japan signed the convention, the government submitted to the Diet three times a
bill to revise the Law on Punishment of Organized Crimes, but each time the bill was scrapped.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in press conference on Nov. 17, “As Japan signed the convention, we need to move forward with the preparation of laws. We are carefully deliberating on the preparation.”
In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the government prioritized three policies as counterterrorism measures: 1) to cutting off funding for terrorist organizations; 2) preventing an increase in foreign combatants; and 3) countering violent extremism.
In order to prevent foreign combatants from entering Japan, or to forestall activities of Japanese citizens recruited over the Internet for terrorist causes overseas, the government needs the sort of intel provided by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the UK’s Military Intelligence, section six (MI6). But such intelligence agencies don’t exist in Japan.
The number of foreign combatants in terrorist organizations is rapidly increasing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) points out, “The number was estimated at 15,000 six months ago, but seems now to surpass 20,000.”(Abridged)