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Diet to start debate on anti-conspiracy bill on Thursday

April 3, 2017

TOKYO- Japan's ruling coalition decided Monday that Diet deliberations on a bill to criminalize acts of preparing terrorist attacks will start on Thursday at a plenary meeting of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Japanese parliament. The bill to revise the law to penalize organized crimes will stipulate the "crime of preparation for terror and other offenses," instead of the initially considered "crime of conspiracy," which the government dropped amid public concerns about the possible range of social activities covered by the phrase. The Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, agreed on the schedule at a meeting of their respective Diet affairs chiefs, Wataru Takeshita and Yoshinori Oguchi. Komeito initially called for putting priority on enacting a pending bill to revise claims-related clauses of the civil code and a revision to the penal code to toughen penalties for sexual offenses. But the party accepted the schedule based on an accord with the LDP that they will work to enact all three bills during the ongoing regular Diet session, which is currently scheduled to end on June 18. The LDP-Komeito accord calls for handling the civil code revision, the organized crime punishment law amendment and the penal code revision in that order. "We aim to enact all of the bills during the current session while gaining support from the (main opposition) Democratic Party, which has called for starting deliberations on the penal code revision as soon as possible," Oguchi said. (Jiji Press)