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No Lower House passage of unpopular prosecutor bill this week

  • May 14, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 9:32 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 14 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s ruling camp has given up its plan to pass a revision to the prosecutor offices law through the House of Representatives this week amid widespread public protests.

 

The Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling bloc sees the need to handle the matter carefully after many people, including celebrities, expressed on social media their opposition to the revision to raise the retirement age of public prosecutors, a senior LDP lawmaker said.

 

Still, the ruling camp aims for the passage of a package of legislation, which includes the revision, through the lower chamber of parliament next week, the lawmaker also said.

 

The Lower House’s Cabinet Committee decided Thursday to discuss the proposed prosecutor offices law revision Friday with the attendance of Justice Minister Masako Mori. The committee is expected to take a vote on it just after the deliberations.

 

Opposition parties see the revision as problematic as it includes a provision that would allow the cabinet to decide a tenure extension for senior prosecutors, including the prosecutor-general, beyond the regular retirement age if necessary.

 

The revision should not make space for political discretion, Jun Azumi, Diet affairs head of the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, told reporters.

 

The CDPJ will not accept a vote on the amendment unless the ruling camp presents a clear standard for raising the retirement age, he added.

 

The revision is drawing criticism because it is considered an attempt to justify an unprecedented government decision in January to delay the retirement of Hiromu Kurokawa, head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office, close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration.

 

At a press conference Thursday, Abe said the amendment would not lead to an infringement on the principle of the separation of powers or arbitrary personnel decisions.

 

He said he has not decided whether to appoint Kurokawa prosecutor-general.

 

 

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