The Daily Manila Shimbun


Ruling bloc pushes anti-terror bill through lower house panel

May 19, 2017

Tokyo- A Japanese House of Representatives committee passed a controversial bill to criminalize acts of preparations to commit terrorism on Friday, with support from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito coalition and Nippon Ishin no Kai, an opposition party.
Amid stiff resistance from other opposition parties, the ruling bloc forced the Lower House Committee on Judicial Affairs to vote on the bill, without holding a closing session with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The ruling coalition now aims to get the bill through the full Lower House on Tuesday and send it to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber
of parliament. The parliamentary battle over the bill is expected to intensify further next week, as the Democratic Party and other opposition parties are resolved to continue their fight against it.
To make sure that the bill is enacted during the ongoing parliamentary session, currently scheduled to end on June 18, the ruling parties are considering an extension, sources familiar with the situation said.
"We have no plans to extend the session at the moment," LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai told a press conference on Friday. But he added, "We'll extend it if necessary."
LDP leader Renho expressed her party's strong determination to block the bill's enactment. "We definitely won't allow the administration to maintain such an autocratic attitude," she said at a party meeting. At a meeting of the Lower House committee ahead of the vote, Yukio Edano, who served
as chief cabinet secretary in the previous administration led by the DP's predecessor, the Democratic Party of Japan, reiterated concerns about the bill.
"The bill will obviously place ordinary citizens at risk of being investigated," Edano pointed out.
Around the parliament building, hundreds of protesters rallied to show opposition to the bill. (Jiji Press)