16 June 2017

News Story: Japan's ruling bloc forces enactment of controversial "conspiracy" law

TOKYO, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Controversial legislation to criminalize the planning of serious crimes was enacted by Japan's parliament on Thursday despite vociferous calls from opposition parties and the public.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition used its majority so the amendment to the law could clear a vote in an upper house plenary session after the Abe-led bloc contentiously bypassed an upper house committee vote.

The bypass tactic allowed the ruling camp to dodge the regular legislative procedures necessary for the legislation to be enacted, with the unorthodox move effectively forcing the contentious conspiracy bill into law without having to extend the current Diet session.

The ruling parties' tactic of bypassing the committee vote, while technically permissible, runs against the conventional legislative process and is rarely used in parliament.

The main opposition Democratic Party and three other opposition parties united in trying all possible measures to impede the bill and on Wednesday evening submitted a no-confidence motion against the Abe Cabinet.

The motion was subsequently rejected in a plenary session of the lower house in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Read the full story at Xinhua