Japan's Diet enacts land-use restriction bill

NHK -- Jun 16
Japan's Diet has enacted a bill that restricts the use of land near Self-Defense Force bases and nuclear facilities.

The Upper House passed the bill in the plenary session on Wednesday, endorsing the final Diet approval.

Under the new law, the government designates areas around facilities deemed to be important in terms of security and remote border islands as "watch zones" or "special watch zones."

The legislation enables the government to control the use of those areas and allows it to investigate land owners in "watch zones."

The law also obliges people who buy or sell large properties in "special watch zones," -- deemed even more important -- to report their name and nationality.

The legislation received majority approval by the ruling coalition partners -- the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito --and some other parties.

The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Japanese Communist Party opposed it. They say the legislation could lead to restrictions on individual rights and there are many problems with it.

On Tuesday, people who oppose the bill gathered outside the Diet building. Organizers say about 350 people took part in the rally.

Lawyer Kaido Yuichi said the bill is designed to put residents around important facilities under surveillance and could constitute a violation of freedom of thought and conscience that is guaranteed by the Constitution.

The lawyer said even an unsworn witness recommended by the ruling coalition and called into the Diet has pointed out a lack of explanation about the bill.

He said a law that is hostile to residents and puts them under surveillance should not be created based on vague security concerns.

- NHK

『土地規制法案』が15日夜、参議院の内閣委員会で可決されました。 この法案によって、安全保障上重要な自衛隊基地などの周辺の土地の利用者の調査などが可能になります。ただ、“重要な施設”を恣意的に解釈される恐れがあることや、何をしたら罰せられるのかがあいまいであることなどが懸念されています。 立憲民主党などは、この法案をめぐり、議院運営委員長の解任決議案を提出するなど反発していますが、法案はこのあとの参議院本会議で成立する見通しです。 - ANNnewsCH