politics

Ruling parties to start debate on conspiracy bill Thursday

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“This is an unconstitutional piece of legislation"

Well, that hasn't stopped them before, has it.

Japan is rapidly turning into East Germany in the 1980s: the State Secrets Law and now this Thoughtcrime Conspiracy Bill. Coupled with near-total surveillance by the NSA and NICT it's becoming something not even the Stasi could have dreamed about at the peak of their powers.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Seems to me they should be discussing what to do with criminals that have already committed crimes, like prime ministers and their wives giving away land and doing dirty financial and real estate deals.

Nothing Abe's administration puts on the table should be allowed to become law.

Why on earth can they take this stuff seriously when the fool is in the midst of a scandal caused by actions which under existing law were clearly illegal?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Checking out a location? Sounds too vague to me. Walking in the street, get arrested then you have to prove that you are not guilty of thinking to commit a crime? Remember that in Japan you are guilty until proven innocent.

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A conspiracy bill because of the olympics. Now I've heard it all... Talk about baiting and using a situation for the wrong purpose.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A lot of laws and societal changes just for a two week event. I am starting to think getting the Olympics is actually a bad thing for countries...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If this bill is being enacted with the Olympics specifically in mind, then put an expiration date on the bill and let it die out after the Olympics are over!

But no, this is one of Abe's "arrows", and will potentially be used to stop opposition to other plans he has in mind!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

and still the japanese people seem to not care about there less and less democratic freedom (or are too brainwashed already from childhood on ? ) as you can see they vote for the LDP again. Gute Nacht, Japan.

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since 1981: I also have lived here over 30 years. I just wonder at what point one is able to unpack and start calling Japan home if we continue to see ourselves as permanent tax-paying visitors. Are we never to stand up proud and have a voice as a full member of society? In our home countries of yore, do we expect legal and tax-paying permanent residents to show their ID at any situation like a baseball game, a commute from work, cherry blossom viewing with family, waiting for a bus, an after work drink with co-workers? I am not sure I would feel comfortable having my spouse, my child, my neighbor, my colleague being stopped repeatedly on the street by a police officer in my home country and advising them not to cause trouble and smile and remember that they are visitors after 30 or more years of being a decent member of society, if still not a full citizen. I am not sure why the rules are any different for Japan? How is it any more exceptional than any other modern nation in the way it treats members of society? I am just sincerely thinking aloud here... but I (and I assume you) am living here until the end likely and is that being a visitor?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Oh great. Abe is covering up his spouse's scandal with another legislation to kill free press and speech and causing an uproar by Amnesty International and the UN Human Rights Council.

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CH3CHO

I am wondering how lawyers in common law countries defend their clients against conspiracy charges, since conspiracy charges are peculiar to common law countries.

In my home country, Britain there were many conspiracy cases from mid 1960's until well into 1990's with many people getting long prison terms but later after long periods in prison found not guilty and released but they had been robbed of their lives, just can't be given back just with compensation payments. Conspiracy makes for a terrible law mostly resulting in terrible outcomes. The law needs to be very clear and conspiracy can never be that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

and still the japanese people seem to not care about there less and less democratic freedom

They are more concerned with how they are perceived by others. It is called "inferiority complex."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm assuming that this new law has a loophole for Nippon Keigi, supported by Komeito (sickophant LDP stalkers). The communist party needs a name change. They always have rational progressive policies. I suggest Japan Disney Party get so many votes just for the name.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Come on Abe, try me!! Arrest all your protesters and opposers on suspicion of criminal acts!! Just like the secret police of Stasi did in the former DDR!:(

2 ( +3 / -1 )

since1981: The Japanese police are not allowed to stop people and ask for ID unless they suspect they have committed a crime. If the Japanese police will not follow the law there is no reason to cooperate with a smile. Instead, why not politely remind them of the law and insist they follow it in future?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They can ask, but you can refuse to show your ID if you have some time on your hands and can speak a bit Japanese. I haven’t tried this, for I have never been asked for my ID. Only bicycle checks. If there is no suspicion of a crime, they should let you go. Officially it is like this:

"A police officer is able to ask for a person's ID, but only if based on a reasonable judgment of a situation where the policeman sees some strange conduct and some crime is being committed, or else he has enough reason to suspect (utagau ni tariru soutou na riyuu) that a person will commit or has committed a crime, or else it has been acknowledged that a particular person knows a crime will be committed. In these cases a police officer may stop a person for questioning."

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I am wondering how lawyers in common law countries defend their clients against conspiracy charges, since conspiracy charges are peculiar to common law countries.

The evidence is, by definition, only words. So, it is their testimony against our testimony. In addition, one who confesses can be excused. So, everyone has a motive to make a false confession to make someone else a mastermind of conspiracy to get excused.

Without any physical evidence, how do they do that? Or do they record conversation by tapping the wire or with hidden mikes?

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in Japan that is hotbed of false arrests or compulsion of confession, Conspiracy bill by Abe government who hate Fundamental Human Rights and Individual Freedom.

Conspiracy law is convenient tools to oppress opposition and protest.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"and arbitrary punishment of civic groups and labor unions" what does this imply or suggest , any one of the unions sticking up for the worker rights, could be punished? wow more compulsory over time, less freedom of speech, this is not a good idea.

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Yubaru: "How is the cop stopping you going to know that you have been living here that long, just by looking at you? I've been here over 30 years as well, and I can count on one hand the number of times police have stopped me to "advise me not to cause trouble".....zero! I've been stopped at the typical road blocks set up to check for drunk drivers, but nothing else. Oh wait, I forgot, I got a speeding ticket about 30 years ago...... I took Japanese citizenship because I didn't like having to pay taxes all the time, and NOT have a voice in the political process. I do not understand why people who have lived here so long, and have no intentions of returning to their home countries dont apply for citizenship, but complain about the discrimination or BS they have to deal with. Yeah I still deal with ignorant people who dont know the difference between nationality and ethnicity, typically I ignore them because they dont count. There are dumb-asses like that the world over!"

I appreciate your response and fully agree. I contemplated it for quite some time. However, given the era I arrived in, the lifestyle I led, and my employment and financial situation, it was necessary for me to maintain my "foreign" citizenship. It would have simply rendered me unemployed. Now, I am not sure what any benefit would be. I have been randomly stopped, as has my son, Japanese, countless times for no reason other than his appearance and beard. I am sure no one in my family would appreciate having their spouse, friend, child stopped and asked for ID on the way home from more than 12 hours of work as my son repeatedly was. Being on a bicycle was another reason. They were checking to see if he had stolen it.

Would my voting for one of the smiling faces on a campaign board change the situation much? But, thank you for voting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The foundation for the destruction of expression of thought. And round and round we go!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dango bong A lot of laws and societal changes just for a two week event. I am starting to think getting the Olympics is actually a bad thing for countries... The Olympics is USUALLY a terribly thing for countries to get involved in.

http://www.citymetric.com/skylines/here-are-five-good-reasons-not-host-olympic-games-1740

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am not sure I would feel comfortable having my spouse, my child, my neighbor, my colleague being stopped repeatedly on the street by a police officer in my home country and advising them not to cause trouble and smile and remember that they are visitors after 30 or more years of being a decent member of society,

How is the cop stopping you going to know that you have been living here that long, just by looking at you? I've been here over 30 years as well, and I can count on one hand the number of times police have stopped me to "advise me not to cause trouble".....zero!

I've been stopped at the typical road blocks set up to check for drunk drivers, but nothing else. Oh wait, I forgot, I got a speeding ticket about 30 years ago......

I took Japanese citizenship because I didn't like having to pay taxes all the time, and NOT have a voice in the political process.

I do not understand why people who have lived here so long, and have no intentions of returning to their home countries dont apply for citizenship, but complain about the discrimination or BS they have to deal with.

Yeah I still deal with ignorant people who dont know the difference between nationality and ethnicity, typically I ignore them because they dont count. There are dumb-asses like that the world over!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The attempt failed three times in the past since year 2005. Let's see how it fares this time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

since1981: The Japanese police are not allowed to stop people and ask for ID unless they suspect they have committed a crime. If the Japanese police will not follow the law there is no reason to cooperate with a smile. Instead, why not politely remind them of the law and insist they follow it in future?

They are allowed to ask non-Japanese for ID at any time, not only under suspicion of a crime.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tom DenkAPR. 04, 2017 - 08:02AM JST

and still the japanese people seem to not care about there less and less democratic freedom (or are too brainwashed already from childhood on ? ) as you can see they vote for the LDP again. Gute Nacht, Japan.

Dango bongAPR. 04, 2017 - 08:07AM JST

They are more concerned with how they are perceived by others. It is called "inferiority complex."

Why do you think so? So far, the parliament has turned down the conspiracy bill 3 times. All the opposition parties are strongly against the bill. The top news in national paper today are this bill.

forzaducatiAPR. 04, 2017 - 12:18PM JST

They can ask, but you can refuse to show your ID

"A police officer is able to ask for a person's ID, but only if based on a reasonable judgment of a situation where the policeman sees some strange conduct and some crime is being committed, or else he has enough reason to suspect

No. That is not true. I know a self-claimed activist who tries to spread this misinformation. DO NOT TRUST HIM. Japanese police do not need any reason to ask a foreigner an ID. If a foreigner refuses, the consequence is 1 year in prison and deportation. How many years one lived in Japan does not prevent deportation.

http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?ft=1&re=01&dn=1&x=0&y=0&co=01&ia=03&ky=%E5%87%BA%E5%85%A5%E5%9B%BD%E7%AE%A1%E7%90%86&page=10

Article 75-2 Any person who falls under any of the following items shall be punished with imprisonment with work for not more than 1 year or a fine not exceeding 200,000 yen.

(ii) A person who refused to present the residence card in violation of the provisions of Article 23, paragraph (3).

Article 24 Any foreign national who falls under any of the following items may be deported from Japan in accordance with the procedures provided for in the following Chapter.

(iv)-4 A mid to long-term resident who has been sentenced to imprisonment with work on the charge of a crime provided for in Article 71-2 or Article 75-2.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

jpntdytmrow; I see your point and totally agree. I am proud to have paid my taxes, contributed to the pension funds and community activity and at times I even forget that I am a Gaijin but the fact of the matter is, when I go to the ward office, they see a Gaijin, when I walk down the street, everyone sees a Gaijin when police look at me they see a gaijin. They have no knowledge of how long I've lived here and have no idea that their parents/grandparents are living off my contributions to Japanese society. I'm not complaining just stating the true fact that I don't see changing at time in my life time. I just accept it, live a happy life. I was an MP in my younger days and know the BS police have to go through with who don't want to take 2 minutes to should their gaijin card.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Conspiracy bill is a misnomer , this legislation is focused on fundamental changes to Japans Criminal Code (Criminal Law) and must be viewed in conjunction with comprehensive changes that allow the Government, Security Services and Police much broader powers to gather intelligence thought methods of eavesdropping, mail interception and all manner of covert surveillance. Against any group, the wording is vague enough to cast the net as wide as the Government agencies feel necessary .

These bills, there has been a number, including the state secrets law, that can imprison journalists for reporting sensitive information pertaining to government scandals deemed contrary to national security. Information presumed to be a state secret. The reference to organized crime or 2020Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games is little more than a pretext, a fig leaf pretense . Existing legislation more than adequately covers both these areas of law and order.

The LDP government have already taken steps that limits guarantees of freedom of expression. The way the media and press were bullied and muzzling with threats to their broadcasters licenses is an example. All on the pretext demanding neutral reporting.

Abe LDP government ultimate goal is to prepare and soften up J electorate though fear, to fundamentally change Japan pacifist constitution.

The Government of China, and that barking mad North Korean maniac hasn't helped. However there are flaws to Abe san plan, the economy, an unpredictable Trump administration, a cabinet full of incompetence reliant on bureaucracy, procedure, and bogged down by regulation. And most of all a huge US military presence in Japan, that Abe LDP Government have no control over, that could simply take independent action with the minimum of warnings.

I could, on the other hand be suffering from an extreme bout of paranoia........ I hope so

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@scrote I believe that Japanese Police are allowed to stop you if you are a foreigner and ask for your ID. It's the locals they aren't allowed to stop.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@scrote I believe that Japanese Police are allowed to stop you if you are a foreigner and ask for your ID. It's the locals they aren't allowed to stop.

Too many foreigners in Japan who have "problems" see this issue from a matter of their "rights".

If you have nothing to hide, (you are living in a foreign country) show the ID let it go. I have Japanese citizenship, but believe me I look more foreign that most of the foreigners who live in Japan.

I am more worried about being stopped by the military patrols off base here in Okinawa than by the Japanese police.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Our local Police (Kochi), cycle mostly, are very polite, salute, stop to chat and give advice on home security, although there is little need to chain, bolt or nail anything valuable down.

I can't imagine these police in anyway playing secret squirrel, out and about apprehending villains conspiring to be Kochi's Bonnie and Clyde.

This is why I am drawn to the conclusion that this conspiracy bill has a much broader political purpose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@jpntdytmrw

It's interesting the difference between your and Yubaru's experience. I too have heard greatly contrasting experiences from people. In Japan we really do tend to judge people by their outward appearance. For example, you can even tell if someone is a bit of a badass by their hair and clothes half the time. Obviously that's universal, but here it's literal. I can spot a construction worker, office lady, salaryman, gangster, a boss...can spot em a mile away. Since people are judged so heavily by their appearance, it's could be the way you look or your beard, or simply your area as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Police will stop you if you've been designated as a target to be stopped.

The police boss says to the foot patrolmen to stop everyone who meets XYZ description. If you happen to fall under that description, you're going to get stopped if the police have time to stop you.

Under the IMMIGRATION law, not the POLICE law, they have the right to check your ID (Not to take it from you). Of course this begins a circle of "How can you prove I am a foreigner? There's know way you can know whether or not I am Japanese"

But believe me the police will make up anything they want. I have personally gotten into this with the JPolice before. They cannot and will not arrest you but they quickly will bring in 10-12 police officers to surround you and will wait you out for hours if they have the time for it. If you don't show ID you could be at risk for failing to show your ID under the immigration control law. In my case I acquiesced and showed my ID after confirming that under the immigration act, police can stop you and demand ID at any time, if you are not a Japanese citizen.

If you are Japanese and have a JP passport you do not need to show ID, but the police do not really obey the law here so you can expect them to create a false reason for detaining you, such as "you were acting suspiciously". This is enough reason for them to question and possibly detain you. Nothing will ever come of it if you ARE Japanese, but if you're not, the trouble will continue.

If you have something to hide I would suggest you run as fast as you can before the cavalry comes, because the routine is to make a quick stop then call in a dozen backup if anything seems even remotely out of the ordinary - you can see this scene often at large stations like Ueno or Shibuya or Shinjuku and the person being surrounded is ALWAYS a foreign looking person.

Failing to show ID as a foreigner could result in 10-60 days of detention in a police station and possibly a charge of failure to show ID which carries a 2-3 year jail sentence (Probably suspended, but still). Plus if you're not married or not a permanent resident of Japan you'd be looking at immediate deportation proceedings.

I am curious how US Military people with SOFA status deal with this considering they don't need a visa to enter Japan. I wonder how the JP police, immigration and government deals with that.

Conspiracy laws are a very slippery slope and with the current main in power being the power crazed right winger that he is, I strongly resent any laws that would embolden police and give them powers to harass foreigners (Since obviously the laws will target foreigners and the press). Now are we to be subject to random raids on our houses in the middle of the night? Searches of our person are already basically possible without warrants - you can see this happening all the time around the big stations. Where does it end?

Security and police should deal with any threats of terror by improving their own Arabic skills and surveillance of people known to be connected with middle eastern terrorism. Japan has invited conspiracies into its borders by sending its troops into the Islamosphere - the way to combat terror is not by reducing the freedoms of people living within Japanese borders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To the foreigners. Ensure you always carry ID. This is a free pass for the J-Cop to do racial profiling. Which is not difficult as Japan is a one race country. And please don't give them a hard time. Many other foreigners have to live in Japan too. They ask for ID, give it to them with a smile and you're off to where you were going in no time. It works for me and it'll work for you. Remember this is Japan and you are seen as a visitor. I've lived here for over 35 years and to this day still accept that fact.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

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