16 June 2017

News Story: Opposition's 'ox walk' tactic backfires in upper house vote on 'anti-conspiracy' law

A parliamentary voting strategy of "gyuho" -- literally "ox walk" -- or the act of filibustering by walking toward the voting stand as slowly as possible like an ox, backfired on three opposition members of the House of Councillors when the upper house president declared their time was up before they'd put in their votes on the so-called "anti-conspiracy" law.

The anti-conspiracy legislation, or the amendment to the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds, criminalizes preparation for terrorism and other crimes by changing the conditions that constitute conspiracy. Upper house plenary sessions on the bill were held intermittently from June 14 through the morning of June 15, with jeers and heckling from lawmakers on both sides of the debate.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito coalition bypassed deliberation and voting in the upper house Judicial Affairs Committee, and instead conducted a rarely invoked "interim report" on the bill and forcibly held a vote. This was met with fierce protest from opposition parties.

Following the plenary session in which the bill was steamrolled, Social Democratic Party (SDP) Secretary-General Seiji Mataichi made clear his anger about the process. "Railroading a bill via an interim report is tantamount to suicide for the House of Councillors," he said.

Read the full story at The Mainichi