LDP Agrees to Drop Criminal Punishments in Coronavirus Bills

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday agreed to an opposition demand to scrap the introduction of criminal penalties in government-proposed bills to revise laws on the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

The LDP accepted a request by the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan to drop all criminal punishments for coronavirus-infected people who refuse to be hospitalized or to cooperate with contact-tracing surveys.

The LDP plans to replace the criminal penalties with administrative fines.

"It is significant progress that we've gained understanding" from the ruling party, Jun Azumi, CDP's parliamentary affairs chief, told reporters after a meeting with his LDP counterpart, Hiroshi Moriyama.

The government bills call for a punishment of a prison term of up to one year or a fine of up to 1 million yen for coronavirus patients refusing hospitalization, and a fine of up to 500,000 yen for those refusing to cooperate with active epidemiological investigations by local public health offices to identify COVID-19 transmission routes.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press