The plenary session of the House of Representatives began April 6 debates on the bill for Conspiracy Law (a revision of the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes). The Abe’s cabinet and the ruling coalition parties enforced parliamentary debates, disregarding opposition of other political parties and objection of people. A crime of conspiracy is to be applied to a group of people who discuss political issues. This law constitutes a part of war legislation, being a surveillance act over citizens.
LET’S ABROGATE CONSPIRACY LAW WITH UNITED STRENGTH! IT IS PART OF WAR LEGISLATION!
A crime of conspiracy is established on an invisible ‘agreement’. Citizens are to be accused of ‘at the stage of plotting and before committing a crime’. The government explains a crime of conspiracy is recognized at the moment when a crime is agreed on (including implications). The bill newly stipulates crimes of conspiracy on 277 kinds of crimes, which include robbery and fraud that require over four years of detention in prison.
‘An agreement’ is invisible objectively as it lies on the extension of voluntary will and thinking, and thus a crime of conspiracy means a government’s surveillance on the mind of people. The bill incorporates plea bargaining which reduces criminality of an informant and allows a massive introduction of eavesdropping to facilitate detection. A surveillance society will come after legislation.
Denial of Basis of Criminal Code
The rule of modern criminal code is to punish an act accompanying a concrete criminal practice and an attempt to commit such an act. A crime is established only in a very limited scope, like a felony, in which a crime is construed at the stage of planning. ‘A crime of conspiracy’ is stipulated in the current criminal code in terms of controlling explosives, and ‘preparation of a crime’ is established in a case of arson. Regulations count almost 70 in which a person is penalized before an actual criminal action is committed. The current penal regulations can sufficiently cope with serious illicit acts.
Measures against Terrorist Acts
Prime Minister emphasized at the beginning of the current Diet session: ‘if the government fails in arranging laws to conclude the convention on prevention of transnational organized crimes, hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympics will be unsuccessful’, demonstrating the conspiracy law was essential for anti-terrorist measures.
The UN treaty, however, is intended to punish money laundering and drug trafficking sponsored by mafia groups and is not related to terrorist acts at all. The original proposal by the government did not incorporate a word of ‘terrorism’. Later the government added a phrase ‘terrorist groups’. Evidently the bill does not seek for an anti-terrorist policy.
Legislation is not essential to ratify the convention, except for the two countries which ratified it after newly establishing a crime of conspiracy. The explanation of the Abe government is clearly not convincing.
Police Investigation Process will Change
For three times the bill to create a crime of conspiracy has aborted. The Abe government, however, demands legislation, emphasizing on fighting on terrorism. It is completely wrong to call in the similar way the bill ‘a bill for a crime of conspiracy’, which failed in enactment in the past. The government keeps saying ‘ordinary people are not to be targeted’.
The bill in question provides that a crime of conspiracy is established at the moment of agreement on a criminal act’. That is the same as that of the aborted bills. The government says ‘a group that engaged in legitimate activities could be punished under the law if its purpose has changed into criminal acts’. Its judgment is ambiguous and the investigating authorities will largely be entrusted to achieve the mission.
Reportedly, police investigation tactics will change, if the bill is enacted. Eavesdropping, tipping-off and spy investigation techniques will be broadly employed.
Let’s fight against the bill with all our strength. The enactment will lead us to a society of secret information and a war-mongering state.
April 18, 2017