December 3, 2013
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi sharply criticized the secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party for branding as "terrorists" people protesting against the government-sponsored state secrets protection bill.
LDP Secretary General Ishiba Shigeru said on November 29 on his blog that demonstrations staged near the Diet building against the secrets bill are "not so different from acts of terrorism in substance".
Facing mounting public criticism at his remarks, Ishiba posted a comment on his blog on December 2, in which he apologized for his improper wording and retracted the "terrorism" reference. At a press conference on that day, however, when a reporter asked Ishiba whether a demonstration with loud noise falls within the definition of "terrorism", he replied, "Such action will be considered to be terrorism when it is coercive."
JCP Ichida told reporters on the same day, "It is unpardonable for the ruling party's spokesman to class with terrorism people's actions based on the constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of expression."
Ichida noted that the secrets bill defines as terrorism such acts as would "force" a certain political stance on the state or others. He pointed out that Ishiba's remarks at the news conference are in line with the controversial draft law and show its true colors as an extremely oppressive piece of legislation.
JCP lawmaker Nihi Sohei argued at an Upper House national security special committee meeting, "It is the secrecy bill, not demonstrators, that infringes upon democracy. Such an unconstitutional measure should be killed immediately."