Monday, January 9, 2012

Noda Administration to Restrict Freedom of Assembly in "National Emergency" from Influenza

From Yomiuri Shinbun (1/10/2012):

政府は、強い毒性と感染力を持つ新型インフルエンザの流行に備えた特別措置法を制定する方針を固めた。

The Japanese government has decided to enact a special measures law in preparation for a new influenza epidemic with high toxicity and infectivity.

強毒性の新型インフル流行時に政府が「緊急事態」を宣言した場合、国民に外出自粛要請や集会中止を指示するなど、強制力を持った措置を取れるようにするのが柱だ。感染拡大や社会の混乱防止を「国家の危機管理」と位置づけるもので、緊急事態法制の新たな取り組みといえそうだ。政府は、通常国会に特措法案を提出し、成立を図る。

The main point of the new law will be the enforcement power given to the national government in an epidemic of a new virulent influenza. If the government declares "a state of emergency", the government can implement the voluntary ban on leaving home and order the cancellation of assembly. Under the new law, the government will define the preventive measures against the spread of infection and the social disorder as "national crisis management". It will be a new effort under the legal framework for the state of emergency. The government will submit the special measures law in the ordinary session of the Diet, and plans to win approval.

 日本では、2009年に新型インフルエンザが大流行したが、ウイルスは弱毒性で、症状は比較的軽い人が多かった。だが、強毒性が流行した場合は、社会的混乱も予想される。政府は、感染拡大や混乱を防ぐには法的根拠に基づく強制措置が必要と判断した。

In Japan, there was an epidemic of a new influenza in 2009, but the influenza was avirulent and the symptoms were relatively mild. However, if a virulent influenza spreads, a social disorder can be expected. Therefore, the government has decided that the legal enforcement [of measures] is necessary in order to prevent the spread of influenza and the social disorder.

What are they going to do? Sending the riot police to disperse people when the administration declares, true or false, a virulent new strain of influenza is on the loose?

This Yomiuri article is categorized as "politics", meaning it was written by a reporter in the politics division at Yomiuri Shinbun. In any newspaper, the politics division usually has the most clout within the paper, an "elite" division compared to the "3rd page" society division or the science division, for example. They do not necessarily know the scientific or legal implications behind what they are writing.

Right now, probably more people than are comfortable to the government officials are gathering in all sorts of places, from a tent village near the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to a citizens' workshop to learn about nuclear reactor stress test in Europe. Or the spontaneous gathering on December 19, 2011 of people who were against the administration's policies ready to shout down the prime minister who turned around and head home on the news of the death of the North Korean dear leader.

Fast and furious. Preemptive strike of some sort, using an influenza epidemic/pandemic threat. (You can call me paranoid.)

16 comments:

risa bear said...

No, I think you are right. This is mild compared to what can be done under Patriot Act combined with NDAA and SOPA in USA (and they are making similar noises about pandemics -- there's an entire TV channel, 24/7, training us what to expect with the next flu or "flu."

Anonymous said...

This is frightening. Once again, it's like a bad movie.

Unfortunately, it's not just about standards and degrees of comfort right now. It's devolving into a real life-and-death struggle.

All the more important for people in Japan to communicate with each other and the world continuously.

Anonymous said...

So basically anyone that has a lowered immune system from Fukushima radiation and gets a cold-is subject to being incarcerated.

Citizens of Japan: If you haven't left Japan you should go NOW. American military service people: you are getting ill right this minute. Don't your families have a right to know?

It's time to stop hiding things.

Anonymous said...

PS Obviously, it's a sign that the country might move toward martial law even in a year or two.

I do admire those who want to stay and fight, but they must be aware of what is happening. Also, adults are free to make their own decisions, but children must be protected.

In this horrible instance, protesting and being physically harmed may actually be a better way of protecting your children than remaining silent and passive. Time will tell.

Generally, those who can leave Japan should go. Once again, sometimes it's better strategy to seemingly give up and then resume the fight from another location.

Steve From Virginia said...

When are the Japanese people going to say, "enough!"?

When are the Japanese people going to wake up and throw away the televisions? When is the rage? When the entire country is too radioactive to inhabit?

When are the Japanese going to channel the inner Zatoichi and start cutting off Japgov heads with samurai swords?

I can see not wanting to be impolite, but these dudes are out to murder your children! What is it going to take?

mikeintokyorogers said...

The comments from the anonymous are hilarious. There is nothing about being incarcerated. There is nothing about Fukushima. This is an attempt to force people to abandoned the right to free association when it has been decided by the clowns in charge that there might be an influenza threat. It is understood that this might be a pretext for such action (as a cover) but as Risa wrote: "This is mild compared to what can be done under Patriot Act combined with NDAA and SOPA in USA" How you (anonymous) other folk(s) stretch this into leaving the country to fight on is beyond me. Anyway, next time we're at a bar, I'l have what you guys are drinking. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mike, some of us are non-drinkers. I don't smoke, drink, do drugs (not even pot) or take any of the middle-class pharmaceuticals. I treasure my reason and my heart to much to cloud them.

But as a person who survived a war (on the receiving end) and who has been spied on during the Bush era, I know the signs.

Being a leftist rather than a liberal, I was accused of fear-mongering. Of course, the extent of the incompetent and stupid phone tapping only came out years later when all the liberals among my friends and family gasped: "Maybe you were right!". So, to some small degree we concur: Patriot Act is worse than what's currently on paper in Japan.

You are comfortable; I know it's been easy for expats in Japan to live large, including girls and booze, for years. So I don't expect you to understand. Status quo is good and reasonable for you.

But some people have already been killed by powers that be for fighting against the Fukushima cover-up. I don't want any more to die. To each of us our own conscience.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a country of (supposedly) advanced science and technology trying to use 'influenza' as a pretense to ban freedom of assembly and speech!#?

As a Japanese, I'm outraged. How low can the Japanese government stoop? This is like a medieval sorcery. Do they not know such thing as "flu vaccine," the easiest and most cost effective prevention available for many decades?

A few years ago when swine flu emerged in some parts of Mexico, the entire Japanese delegates from Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) cancelled attendance at an international conference in one Mexico city which was not affected by the flu. They said travel to Mexico was too dangerous and it is widely banned by Japanese companies. (a lie, of course)

Americans and Europeans looked at a map, confirmed the city was not affected, they got a flu vaccine, and attended the conference. No one got sick, no one on the planes or in the conference hotel was sick.

This year, the same members of the Japanese want everyone else to attend the same international conference that is planned in Tokyo, they say it is safe, they say no need to worry about radiation because Tokyo is far away from Fukushima (!?) and besides, it is not as dangerous as flue in Mexico... Are you kidding? What kind of science and engineering education did they receive?

Maju said...

"You can call me paranoid"...

Being paranoid does not meant that they are not after you.

It is an obvious exception law to act against demonstrations and meetings of victims of Fukushima, which will surely be labeled as having "the flu" (and what not).

Anonymous said...

I am far from paranoid but this does have some creepy undertones. Maybe I am just frustrated watching them do the same kinds of things in the US to erode rights.

Anonymous said...

Mike, have you landed, or are you trying to land on a government contract to promote Fukushima? If so, let us know so that we can read between your lines.

I also hope, at least, that you or your friends have stopped attacking gaijin as "flyjin" for getting out of Tokyo or Japan to avoid radiation. I certainly hope you stopped attacking people in Fukushima for trying to escape from high radiation.

Most of all, I hope you retracted the silliest post on your blog in which you insisted there was no radioactive plume coming from Fukushima to Kanto area. I hope you apologized to your readers for misinformation, and for any future health damage from staying put because they believed you.

Anonymous said...

They could use this law to force people to stay home when they have good reason to know that the worst explosion is about to burst out of Fukushima after another earthquake emptying fuel pool 4 and braking the silk pipes.

Chibaguy said...

Not surprising but utterly telling.

So they are going to use the premise of the flu spreading in order to keep people from gathering to shout at them. Do they not understand why people are gathering to shout them down? The sat on data and let us all walk around Japan while plumes were falling on us for months. Now cesium is increasing and decreasing for some reason but they do not care to tell us. We must find this information on our own.

When flu season arrives let's all gather by METI. While we are at it, everyone bring some soil they have measured and let's dump it there. I have a 4.37 uSv/hr spot of soil I would not mind parting with.

Anonymous said...

@ Chibaguy

You can bet they not only charge your for gathering during a 'pandemic outbreak of the flu' but also for transporting radioactive material without a valid license. Ah and by the way, you are storing unregistered quantities of radioactive materials in your garden and on your roof. This is very suspicious, probably one of these many foreign terrorist.

If it would not be so tragic.....

Anonymous said...

Read more...., Please

Psychopaths Caused the Financial Crisis … And They Will Do It Again and Again Unless They Are Removed From Power
Posted on January 3, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/01/psychopaths-caused-the-financial-crisis-and-they-will-do-it-again-and-again-unless-they-are-removed-from-power.html

CaptD said...

It is obvious to me that the Japanese Gov't and TEPCO are trying to DELAY, any real action so that they can put the Japanese people back to sleep on this issue while saving shareholder value!

If the Japanese people really knew the true cost of Fukushima, the people would demand CHANGE and that is something that those in Government want to avoid at all cost!

What will determine the total cost of this "Trillion Dollar" Eco-Disast­er?

Please feel free to add your comments and or estimates to this list:
 Decommissi­oning costs
 Loss to all other radioactiv­e decontamin­ation caused by this Disaster.
 Loss of revenues by Tepco
 Loss to TEPCO's share holders caused by radioactiv­ity
 Loss of Japanese personal income caused by radioactiv­ity
 Loss to Japanese businesses caused by radioactiv­ity
 Loss of all Japanese health costs related to radioactiv­ity
 Loss due to unusable Japanese Land related to radioactiv­ity
 Loss due to Japanese housing caused by radioactiv­ity
 Loss of Japanese Property Values caused by radioactiv­ity
 Loss of fishing grounds caused by radioactiv­ity
 Loss of manufactur­ing caused by radioactiv­ity
 Loss to the value of the Yen caused by radioactiv­ity
 Loss to other Utilities caused by Fukushima'­s radioactiv­ity
 Loss to Japans credit rating caused by Fukushima'­s radioactiv­ity
 Loss to the Japanese peoples Lives because of radiation

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