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Date: 1999-08-05

ENFOPOL a la Japonaise

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Beziehungsweise"Sicherheitspolizei/befugnisgesetz" wie
man in AT sagt. Irgendwie scheint einer relativ grossen Zahl
von Japaner/innen das Vorhaben, gewisse Behörden zum
Abhören gesetzlich zu ermächtigen, schwer suspekt zu sein
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Thu, 05 Aug 1999 11:50:09 -0400

Martyn Williams

A package of bills that will give police the power to use
wiretaps in their investigation of certain types of crimes got
their first public hearing today as opinion polls showed they
are becoming increasingly unpopular with the public.

The revisions to the Criminal Justice Bill are designed to help
the police better battle organized crime however the majority
of the Japanese public believe restrictions on their use
outside of such crimes will prove ineffective. At the hearing
today, Upper House judiciary committee members heard
from two leading commentators and a lawyer. Of the three,
two supported the revisions calling them necessary to halt
the rise of international and organized crime gangs.
Commentator Makoto Sataka opposed the bills saying they
would lead to an emphasis on investigations regarding public
security rather than crime. The public hearing comes a day
after the Justice Ministry pledged telephone lines used by the
news media would be exempt from wiretapping although
failed to commit the promise to actual bill.

The ministry said the freedom of the press should not be
compromised by such wiretaps although said it reserved the
right to tap media lines in extreme circumstances, such as if
a reporter was suspected of committing a crime. The
concession comes several weeks after the transcript of a
conversation between a lawmaker and TV Asahi journalist
was sent to several media organizations by an anonymous
mailer who claimed to be a police officer. The letter explained
the call was tapped as part of a police test into wiretapping
technology. Meanwhile, opposition to the revisions is growing
according to an opinion poll taken over the weekend by the
TBS television network. The telephone poll among 1,200
people found support for the revisions was at 39.6 percent,
down 4 points from a month earlier. Opposition was at 50.1
percent, up seven points on the month. Pessimism regarding
restrictions on the use of wiretaps to investigations on certain
types of crimes was high with 66.0 percent of people
believing the restrictions would be ineffective and only 22.9
percent of people saying they would keep use to the defined
crimes. The revisions will allow for the use of wiretapping in
the course of investigations into four main types of crime:
illegal drugs, cases involving weapons, organized group
illegal entry into Japan, and organized murders.


relayed by
Barry Steinhardt

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edited by Harkank
published on: 1999-08-05
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