On May 18, Cannataci sent a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noting that the anti-terrorism countermeasure legislation could potentially “lead to undue restrictions to the rights to privacy and to freedom of expression.”

“The definition of what an ‘organized crime group’ is vague and not clearly limited to terrorist organizations,” Cannataci noted, adding that there was “no sufficient clarification on the specific definition of ‘plan’ and ‘preparatory actions.’”

In response to Cannataci‘s expression of concerns about arbitrary application of the law, the Japanese government sent a written letter of protest on May 19 by way of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. According to Cannataci, the document argued that the conspiracy charges needed to be created for Japan to enter the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and contained no reference to concerns about flaws in the legislation related to potential privacy infringements. On May 22, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denounced Cannataci’s letter to Abe as a “one-sided claim” that did not take the Japanese government’s position into account.

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