Japan’s ruling coalition pushed a contentious bill through parliament Thursday that makes it a crime to plan a crime.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the new law, which criminalizes the planning of 277 serious crimes, is needed to prevent terrorism, especially with the Olympics coming to Tokyo in 2020.
Opponents warned that authorities could use the legislation to limit free speech and public protests and expand surveillance of private citizens.
Abe told reporters after the vote that the government wants to use the law in a proper and effective way to protect lives and property.
The law applies to organized criminal groups of two or more people that have engaged in specific preparations for a crime, such as scouting a location, according to Japan’s Kyodo News service.
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