Japan P.E.N. Club Statement “We oppose the anti-conspiracy bill”
As a result of the anti-conspiracy bill, your life will be monitored;
as a result of the anti-conspiracy bill, you could be branded a terrorist.
We oppose the passage of the new anti-conspiracy bill.
We, the Japan P.E.N. Club, are strongly opposed to the passing of the new anti-conspiracy bill (concerning conspiracy to commit organized crimes such as terror) currently being debated in the Diet. We have opposed such bills in the past because, in addition to being totally unnecessary, they damage the foundation on which society is built. The substance of the current bill is totally unchanged from past bills so there has not been the slightest change in our opposition.
As in the cases of the bills that have been put before the Diet and scrapped three times in the past, the anti-conspiracy bill currently being prepared would punish someone if they are merely deemed to have engaged in advance discussion. This is the government thrusting its hand into a person’s heart, and it is nothing other than an infringement on the freedom of heart and mind (freedom of thought and belief) absolutely guaranteed by the constitution. The result will be to, at a fundamental level, deprive people of their freedom to express or not express their thoughts (including freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, etc.).
Furthermore, despite the fact that sufficient terror countermeasures are possible under existing laws, an attempt is being made to make political use of the Olympics by the treating the Olympics as a hostage with the spurious argument that the Tokyo Olympics cannot be held if a new anti-conspiracy bill is not passed.
The political tactic of forcing passage of this bill cannot be forgiven.
The passage of this bill should be resolutely opposed.
The Japan P.E.N. Club
Jiro Asada, President
Kenta Yamada, Chair of the Freedom of Expression Committee