The Daily Manila Shimbun


Lower House OKs contentious anti-conspiracy bill

May 24, 2017

SEOUL- A contentious bill to criminalize planning and preparations to commit acts of terrorism and other serious offenses passed through the House of Representatives on Tuesday.At a Lower House plenary meeting, the anticonspiracy bill was approved mainly with support from the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, as well as Nippon Ishin no Kai, an opposition party. The main opposition Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party voted against it.

The bill was then sent to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber. The ruling camp initially intended to launch Upper House debates on Wednesday, but gave up the plan due to opposition from the DP.
The LDP-Komeito pair now plans to have the Upper House start deliberations on the bill next Monday, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returns from a foreign trip scheduled on the weekend.
The ruling bloc now looks to extend the ongoing session of parliament, currently scheduled to end on June 18, in order to get the bill enacted during the session without fail.
Protesters gathered outside the parliamentary building to show their opposition to the bill, as they did when it was pushed through the Lower House Committee on Judicial Affairs on Friday.
At a directors' meeting of the Lower House Committee on Rules and Administration earlier on Tuesday, opposition parties demanded that the bill be sent back to the judicial committee, arguing that it was forcibly put to a vote by the panel.
But the steering panel's chairman, Tsutomu Sato of the LDP, decided to hold the full Lower House vote, by exercising his authority.
The government claims that the legislation is a precondition for entering into the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as well as part of its counterterrorism effort in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (Jiji Press)