Diet begins debate on antiterror bill

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Diet began deliberations on Friday on a bill to criminalize preparations to commit terrorist attacks and other offenses.

The Democratic Party and other parties are resolved to block the bill. They claim that the definition of organized criminal groups is ambiguous under the bill, suggesting that ordinary citizens could be punished at the discretion of law-enforcement authorities. They also question the government’s claim that the legislation is necessary and effective as an antiterrorism measure going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling camp aims to get the legislation through the House of Representatives before the start of the holiday period from late this month. But the prospect of such an early lower house passage appears to be dim, as the start of the debate has already been delayed due to wrangling between the ruling and opposition camps.Speech

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