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Young people hit Tokyo's streets to protest 'anti-conspiracy bill'

Mirai no tame no kokyo (Public for the future) activist group members speak during a protest against the government's proposed "anti-conspiracy" bill, in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, on June 11, 2017. (Mainichi)

Thousands of people took to the streets of central Tokyo on June 11 to protest the government's "anti-conspiracy" bill, in a demonstration organized by the activist group "Mirai no tame no kokyo" (Public for the future).

The controversial bill, now before the House of Councillors, would criminalize "acts of preparations to commit crimes such as terrorism" by changing the conditions that constitute conspiracy.

According to organizers, some 4,000 people turned out for the march which featured speakers from multiple organizations including "Mirai no tame no kokyo," all amid the hustle and bustle of Tokyo's Shibuya Ward. One of the main messages of the protest was "Scrap the bill."

The government is aiming to enact the anti-conspiracy bill during the current Diet session, but the plan has been met with widespread criticism. Rival party politicians, academics, and citizen group members claim that, "Rephrasing the term 'conspiracy' as 'preparations to commit crimes such as terrorism' is impression manipulation," and that, "There is a real danger that people who think they have nothing to do (with the legislation) could end up as a surveillance target."

The "Mirai no tame no kokyo" group consists mainly of young people and actively campaigns on a variety of political issues.

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