• Kyodo


The government will establish a 24-hour coordination center and strengthen aerial surveillance above venues as part of a security strategy for the 2020 Olympic Games, according to a plan approved Tuesday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touted the plan — along with a controversial bill that would punish the planning of serious crimes — as part of an overall security framework.

The bill, deliberation of which is expected to begin in on Thursday, has been criticized by opposition parties and legal advocates as a potential vehicle for arbitrary state surveillance and the suppression of free speech.

“The safe and smooth preparation and running of the games are important responsibilities of the government,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of the Olympic and Paralympic task force. “I want the whole of Japan to work together on each of these measures.”

A separate security information center, to be opened around July this year, is also included in the plan. It will be managed by a range of government bodies with the National Police Agency at its core.

The government also formally agreed Tuesday to hold Olympic baseball and softball events in Fukushima Prefecture. The International Olympic Committee approved the move last month, hailing the support it would give to areas hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

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