Japan law targeting terrorist conspiracies shelved ahead of TPP

TOKYO, Sept. 16 (UPI) — Japan has been working on a law that can penalize groups and individuals for premeditated terrorist conspiracies, but the plan to introduce the bill to legislators is being deferred.

The draft legislation targeting organized crime is aimed at potential suspects that work in groups of two or more, and is a response to the rise in terrorist threats in Europe, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Tokyo’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Friday it is the government’s position that the bill is necessary, but there are no plans yet to submit it to Japan’s interim parliament.

The bill may not be introduced to legislators because of a potential backlash. Japan’s opposition parties may disapprove of the conspiracy clause because it could be used to unfairly punish civic groups or labor unions, according to the report.

The bill could also affect the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, in parliament.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been promoting the TPP as part of his strategy to boost economic growth.

Suga also told reporters on Friday very strict North Korea sanctions are being considered in discussions with the United States and South Korea, but did not provide additional information.

The Asahi Shimbun had reported Washington, Tokyo and Seoul are working on having North Korea’s coal and mineral exports be banned as part of future international sanctions, in addition to placing a ban on oil exports to North Korea.

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