Anti-terror bill approved by committee in Japan's lower house

By THE JAPAN NEWS/YOMIURI Published: May 19, 2017

TOKYO — A modified version of an anti-terrorism bill was passed by the Judicial Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives on Friday with a majority vote by the Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito and Nippon Ishin no Kai.

The ruling parties aim to pass the bill to revise the Law on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds at a plenary session of the lower house on Tuesday, and send it to the House of Councillors.

The Judicial Affairs Committee of the lower house held a question and answer session on the bill from 9 a.m. on Friday. The opposition camp, including the Democratic Party, opposed a vote on the bill, but the ruling camp went ahead after completing the question and answer session in the afternoon.

The bill aims to criminalize preparing to commit an act of terrorism and other related offences. If two or more members of an organized crime group plot to commit a serious crime and at least one of them has made preparatory acts, all members of the group would be punished. The envisaged legislation covers 277 offenses likely to involve organized crime groups.

The modified version of the bill was submitted by the LDP, Komeito and Ishin. It sets out a provision for considering the establishment of a guarantee regarding the adequacy of investigations that would be added to the legislation. A provision for considering the feasibility of mandatory audio or video recordings of suspect interrogations has been added as a supplementary clause to the legislation.

During Friday's question and answer session, Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda reiterated the necessity of the legislation, saying: "Toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, [the legislation] will be highly effective in preventing acts of terrorism and other forms of organized crime."


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