- Title: Japan's lower house passes controversial anti-terrorism bill
- Date: 23rd May 2017
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE - 2013) (REUTERS) PARLIAMENT
- Embargoed: 6th June 2017 09:54
- Keywords: terrorism anti-conspiracy bill parliament law Japan
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016I269MT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Japanese parliament's lower house passed a controversial anti-terrorism bill on Tuesday (May 23) which the ruling party says is necessary to ratify a U.N. treaty aimed at battling international organized crime and terrorism, while some critics say the bill will grant authorities to violate the public's privacy and freedom of expression.
A total of 459 votes were submitted, with 338 votes supporting the passage of the bill and 121 votes opposed it, officially allowing the bill to pass the lower house which then goes to the upper house for final clearance.
Tokyo says the legal changes brought by the bill, loosely translated to "anti-terrorism and preparation of other crimes" and also called the 'anti-conspiracy bill", is needed to ratify a United Nations treaty designed to fight against international organized crime and terrorism, as Tokyo prepares to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Critics, including opposition lawmaker Renho, who goes by her given name only, and about 200 protesters near parliament on Tuesday see the proposals as part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's agenda to tighten the government's grip at the expense of individual rights. The general public is seen split over the bill, with 39.9 percent supporting according to a recent opinion poll and 41.4 percent opposed.
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