Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan won a crucial vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday on an anti-conspiracy bill that he said was needed to fight terrorism but that critics feared could give the authorities broad surveillance powers over citizens.

Joseph Cannataci, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to privacy, wrote to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warning that the bill, if adopted, could “lead to undue restrictions to the rights to privacy and to freedom of expression.”

A day before the lower house voted, Mr. Abe’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, lashed out against Mr. Cannataci’s letter, calling it “clearly inappropriate” and dismissing the special rapporteur’s concerns. The Japanese government also lodged an official protest with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Original articles from the Japanese press can be downloaded from here (pdf). Another article can be found here.

The official video of an interview with Prof. Cannataci can also be found here.