outing in protest couldn't keep Japan's controversial anti-terror law from passing Thursday. Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe's ruling block ramming the bill through Parliament's upper house, taking the rare step of skipping a committee vote to speed things up. We want to pass this law in order to protect the lives and property of our people.
We're holding the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in three years and must sign the convention of transnational organized crime as soon as possible. So we can work with the international community and prevent terrorism before it happens. The new law criminalize conspiracy to commit terrorism and other serious crimes. It's a clear win for Abe who's backed the bill for a long time.
But it split the public, sparking the opposition protest and a warning from a UN expert who called it defective. Critics say that the bill takes at a lot of so-called serious offenses that have no obvious connection to terrorism or organized crime, like citizens to protest construction of apartment buildings and copying music.
They also see it as part of a broader effort by Abe to ramp up state powers, and fear ordinary citizens could become targets. Some even comparing the law to Japan's World War Two era thought police.