Diet approves legislation to promote economic security

Jiji Press
A bill to promote economic security is passed and enacted by a majority vote at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors on Wednesday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Diet on Wednesday enacted a bill on promoting economic security, one of the centerpiece policies of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The House of Councillors approved at a plenary meeting the bill aimed at enhancing supply chains of strategically important goods such as semiconductors.

The bill was endorsed by a majority vote with support mainly from the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), also an opposition party. The House of Representatives passed the bill last month.

The legislation comes at a time when the United States and China are competing for dominance and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has heightened global tension.

Opposition parties were concerned that the legislation would disrupt free economic activities by companies excessively. In this regard, the Cabinet Committees of both parliamentary chambers adopted a collateral resolution, respectively, demanding that enough respect be paid to the autonomy of businesses.

The legislation has four pillars — strengthening supply chains, conducting prior screenings to ensure the security of core infrastructure, promoting public-private cooperation on advanced technologies and keeping undisclosed the patents on sensitive technologies that could be used for military purposes.

The legislation will impose up to two years of imprisonment or a fine of up to ¥1 million for violations such as making false reports about core infrastructure.

The government will implement the legislation in stages from fiscal 2023.

Under the legislation, financial support will be provided in order to ensure stable supply of specified important goods such as semiconductors and medicines.

For establishing electrical, financial and other infrastructure, an advance screening system will be introduced for the government to check whether measures to prevent cyberattacks are taken.