/

Protester charged over Diet shoe toss

KYODO

A protester has been indicted for hurling a shoe at the floor of the House of Councilors during deliberations on the state secrecy law just before it was enacted earlier this month.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday charged Kenichi Iwahashi, a temp worker from Shimada, Shizuoka Prefecture, with obstruction of business by force.

Iwahashi, 45, was in public seating in the Upper House on Dec. 6 when he threw the shoe toward lawmakers’ seats just after chamber President Masaaki Yamazaki declared deliberations over, the indictment said. After it landed near the center of the floor, security guards seized Iwahashi.

On Dec. 19, Iwahashi told the Tokyo District Court that his action “was intended to criticize the unconstitutional bill” and said his arrest was “unjust” and aimed at isolating him from movements opposed to it.

“We’ve determined that this is a case where criminal responsibility should be pursued,” a prosecutor said.