The last ordinary session of the Diet enacted a series of laws related to the Criminal Procedure Code: worsening of the Wire-Tapping Act, introducing of plea bargaining, which might cause a false charge, and allowing filming of a certain part during law enforcement interrogation. Responding to the Diet decision, this column dated May 31 emphasized, saying ‘Don’t present to the Diet a bill for law on conspiracy’. The government has compiled a new bill called a bill on ‘a crime to prepare for terrorist acts’
LET’S WITHDRAW BILL BEFORE BEING PRESENTED TO DIET!
An article of this column warned then: ‘on May 24 the House of Representatives approved again the laws related to the Criminal Procedure Code. What comes next is introduction of law on conspiracy which the police authority wants’. The point has become true.
Contemporary Version of Act on Maintenance of Public Order
The Asahi Shimbun newspaper put headlines on the front page of the August 26 morning issue: ‘Crime of Conspiracy ? Now altered to Crime for Preparation of Terrorist Acts, New Bill likely be presented to Diet’. The Tokyo Shimbun began to criticize the bill as early as from the evening issue of the day.
The Tokyo pointed out ‘No Pledge made during Upper House Election Campaign, Government Changed after Winning, Same Method used for Law on Protection of Specific Secrets’.
Judging from the developments of tricky legislation witnessed at the time of approval of the Law on Identification Number, the Law on Protection of Specific Secrets and the Criminal Procedure Code, we could foresee a bill to establish a crime of conspiracy. It is natural, too, for the government to do so because it wants to consolidate the legal arrangements for belligerency and to control mass media accordingly.
In other words, the government needs a legal structure that may survey and prosecute organizations and individuals who are against the government, while it prepares laws to meet requests from the US military which collaborates with the Self Defense Forces of Japan in the missions abroad. From this point of view, a law on conspiracy is regarded a contemporary version of Maintenance of Public Order Act which maltreated anti-war activists in the wartime.
A crime of conspiracy is incorporated elaborately in the law on protection of secrets. Wiretapping is extensively practiced both in terms of quantity and quality so as to establish conspiracy. Eavesdropping detectors may come to individual homes. Surveillance cameras installed in the streets may convert to a biometric authentication system. Police uses GPS in the searches as a daily practice, while law courts issued two different rulings, lawful and unlawful.
A purpose to enact a law on conspiracy lies in ‘creating a surveillance society’ in which the state authority can watch people intently. The Abe government attempts to suppress people and eradicate democracy by way of presenting the controversial bill, excusing for ‘anti-terrorism policies and successes in the 2020 Olympics’.
Gross Violation of Human Rights
The bill for conspiracy has been rejected three times in the Diet. It intends to criminalize an attempt at the time of agreement before it is undertaken and its result appears. For this reason a sphere of penalty is ambiguous and indistinct. The state’s power could behave arbitrarily as in the same way as the wartime act on maintenance of public order.
The bills submitted for the Diet’s debates have not defined content and compactness of the crime of conspiracy. A crime is established when a concrete action is undertaken. No punishment without law is the rule. A crime must be specified definitely.
The crime of conspiracy violates the basic rule of modern criminal code and infringes the fundamental human rights. It means a dangerous system. We must prevent the bill from submitting to the Diet.
September 20, 2016