The government has decided to narrow the scope of crimes in the revision to the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds (the anti-terrorism bill), and limit the number to 277, down from 676 in the original draft. The scope will be limited to those closely related to syndicated crimes. The Cabinet decision is expected in early March, followed by the bill’s submission to the Diet. After a briefing by senior Justice Ministry officials, Prime Minister Abe has already approved the change, according to multiple government sources.
The original draft of the bill, as in the three scrapped bills in the past, had covered crimes that are punishable with over four years of imprisonment with or without labor. Komeito had been requesting a narrower scope of crimes, citing that the scope included crimes unrelated to terrorism.
The 399 crimes that will be excluded are offenses such as professional negligence resulting in death that cannot be planned ahead, and such illegal activities as violation of the election law that are not closely connected to organized crimes. The 277 crimes that are closely related to syndicated crimes are designated as “serious crimes” that fall within the scope of preparation for terrorist activities. The scope may change again after some adjustments are made within the ruling parties.