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Since last year, moves by the government to sway public opinion in favor of its policies have come to the fore one after another. On June 6, the Japan Communist Party revealed that the Ground Self-Defense Force’s intelligence security unit had gathered information on the activities of organizations and individuals that opposed deployment of SDF troops in Iraq. Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma admitted that the GSDF had conducted such surveillance, although he refused to provide details.

The scope of the surveillance was stunning, covering citizens’ groups, labor unions, political parties, religious organizations and reporters. As many as 289 organizations and individuals in 41 prefectures were targeted.

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