Statement on the Enactment of the Bill to Revise the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds, including the Criminalization of Conspiracy
Today, the bill to revise the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds (the “Bill”) including the criminalization of conspiracy was passed by a vote in the Upper House plenary session through the unusual step of skipping a vote in the Upper House Committee on Judicial Affairs following its presentation of interim report to the Upper House plenary session.
The JFBA has been consistently opposed the enactment of the Bill because it is highly likely that the human rights and freedom of citizens could be violated profoundly. In addition, Prof. Joseph Cannataci, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, had published a letter expressing his strong concern about the Bill.
Despite explanation given by the government at the then-current Diet session, many concerns remain including: i) potential risks that general citizens could be targets of investigation, ii) lack of clear criteria for “change” where even a general organization could be deemed as “an organized crime group” (Article 6-2 of the Bill), iii) potential risks of creating surveillance society including the expansion of wiretapping due to the potential need of investigating e-mails or text messages exchanged over e-mails or communications applications such as the LINE to detect a crime in a planning phase. Besides, it is hard to say that sufficient discussions were made at the Diet about the validity of up to 277 types of applicable crimes shown in the Appendix 4 of the Article 6-2 of the Bill and the necessity of re-examination of those crimes.
The Bill holds a great significance in the sense that it changes the system and fundamentals principle of Japanese criminal code. According to the opinion surveys by mass media, many said that the government had not given a detailed explanation, and many opposed the passage of the Bill during the then-current Diet session. Despite all the concerns and opinions, it is extremely regrettable that the Bill was forced through the Lower House Committee on Judicial Affairs, and passed at the Upper House through the unusual process as stated above.
JFBA is determined to monitor the enforcement of the enacted laws to prevent any arbitrary use, and to undertake the activities for abolishing the law in cooperation with the bar associations and the federations of bar associations throughout the country.
cf. Paragraph 1 of the Article 6-2 of the Bill：
Two or more persons who plan, as part of activities of terrorist groups or other organized criminal groups, the commission of criminal acts listed in the following sections by such groups, are subject to the punishment prescribed in each of those sections, if any of them have arranged funds or goods or carried out preliminary inspections of relevant locations pursuant to the plan or other preparatory acts for the purpose of committing the planned criminal acts. An organized criminal group means a group of persons whose common purpose as the basis of organizing the group is to carry out the crimes enumerated in Appendix. However, those who surrender prior to executing the crime will have a reduced or exemption from that sentence.
1）Crimes listed in Appendix 4, which are punishable by death penalty, indefinite imprisonment, or imprisonment with or without labor for more than 10 years - Imprisonment with or without labor for 5 years or less.
2）Crimes listed in Appendix 4, which are punishable by either imprisonment with or without labor for more than 4 years but less than 10 years - Imprisonment with or without labor for 2 years or less.
[Appendix 4 is omitted.]
June 15, 2017
Japan Federation of Bar Associations