The governing coalition has given up trying to pass during this Diet session a bill that would make conspiracy a crime, according to political sources.
The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, New Komeito, decided after consulting with government leaders to forgo an early vote on the government-proposed bill as well as on another bill to crack down on juvenile crime because there is not enough time for deliberations, the sources said.
The current Diet session is set to end Aug. 13.
The two parties now envision trying to pass the bills during an extraordinary session expected to convene in the fall, they said.
The bills have already been referred to the Lower House Judicial Affairs Committee.
The Democratic Party of Japan has refused to attend sessions of the committee to discuss the bills, saying it cannot expect sufficient explanation from the government on their content because the post of senior vice justice minister has been vacant since the dismissal of Makoto Taki, a Lower House member of the LDP.
Taki was sacked for voting against the government-sponsored postal privatization bills in the Lower House on July 5, contrary to the LDP’s decision to support the bills.
The Diet began deliberating the conspiracy bill to revise the law against organized crime on July 12, but the wording has drawn criticism from both governing and opposition party members over its vagueness. They say it could effectively lead to suppression of everyday conversation.
They say the bill also applies to too many crimes.
Under the bill, those involved in conspiracy to commit a crime could be punished even if the crime is not carried out.
The bill was submitted to the Diet in 2003 after Japan signed the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, aimed at fighting international organized crime, including terrorism. The convention requires signatory nations to legislate charges for conspiracy.
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