22 May 2017

News Story: Protests over steamrolling of 'anti-conspiracy bill' erupt nationwide

Protests erupted across Japan on the evening of May 19 in response to the forced passage of the so-called anti-conspiracy bill in the House of Representatives Committee on Judicial Affairs that afternoon.

In the capital, protesters gathered at the National Diet Building. The demonstrations were led by the pro-constitutionalism multipartisan legislators' group Rikken Forum and the citizens' group Anti-War Committee of 1000, with participants criticizing the bill as an attempt to silence voices that challenge the government.

"If the bill is passed, wiretapping and other surveillance methods will change and it makes me uneasy. Using numbers like that to push through a vote is just terrible," said Issei Kikuchi, a 63-year-old participant from Saitama Prefecture.

More groups joined the demonstrations in front of the Diet as the night went on, with protestors waving yellow placards emblazoned with the words "No to the anti-conspiracy bill" and chanting "We firmly denounce the steamrolling of the bill in the lower house committee!" Shiori Akasaka, 27, of Chiba Prefecture said, "I feel as though this bill can be interpreted to make me a target of investigation for just participating in these protests. I want the government to clearly explain the bill in the House of Councillors."

Read the full story at The Mainichi