Statement: Reject the Anti-Conspiracy Bill
NPO Consumers Union of Japan
May 24, 2017
Consumers Union of Japan was founded in 1969 as an independent organization working for a sound and healthy future. Our activities are guided by the principle that ordinary people have the right to live in peace and safety. This is the reason we are taking a stand against the proposed “anti-conspiracy bill” which was approved in a rushed manner on May 23, 2017 by the House of Representatives plenary session, and sent to the House of Councilors.
We oppose this proposed bill that has become increasingly contentious the more it has been deliberated. It is ambiguous and far-reaching, deeply influencing people’s lives and activities, with only suspicion needed to instigate wire-tapping, internet surveillance and other invasive methods that the law enforcement authorities can use.
For example, CUJ is working on a number of campaigns for the benefit of consumers to protect the environment and human health. This includes lobbying for strict regulations and putting pressure on government and corporations that make harmful detergents or promote genetically modified crops and GM food, which we strongly oppose. Other campaigns target agricultural chemicals and pesticide use, especially neo-nicotinoids which hurt both humans and animals. Many such activities and campaigns can now become regarded as illegal if they are interpreted to interfere with laws covered by the proposed conspiracy bill, including patent laws and other laws that protect corporations and their intellectual property rights.
Another law that is covered is the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act. The purpose of this law is to protect the commercial interests of anyone who produces, registers and sells seed. Now, if you were to buy registered seed at a gardening store, grow plants from the seed, and then share the plant’s seed with others, this could be regarded as a conspiracy crime – a nightmare! By introducing the conspiracy bill, our normal world may be changed in an instant. Will this nightmare really come true? We do not want to make such a world become reality and we will have no part in living in such a world.
Consequently, Consumers Union of Japan strongly urges the government to scrap this proposed bill.