A number of Japanese celebrities have taken to Twitter to criticize the government’s attempt to extend the retirement age for prosecutors, with one warning the move could “destroy” the country.
The tweets by people including actors, actresses and musicians were widely retweeted by other users with the Japanese hashtag meaning “I oppose the revision of the public prosecutor’s office law” and totaled more than 3.8 million by the evening of May 10.
The revision bill, which would lift the retirement age to 65 from 63, has been discussed in the Diet since last month. It would also allow for further extension if the Cabinet gives approval, a special provision critics say could damage a fair judicial system by enabling the administration to decide which prosecutor can stay in office longer.
“Please do not twist the law or politics anymore for the sake of self-protection. Please do not destroy this country,” actor Arata Iura said.
Many also criticized the government’s attempt to push the bill through during a coronavirus crisis.
“In this confusion over the coronavirus, we should focus on (saving) people’s lives,” theater director Amon Miyamoto said, describing the bill as “far from democracy.”
The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came under fire earlier this year after it let Hiromu Kurokawa remain as chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office after he turned 63.
Kurokawa is widely believed to be favored by the prime minister’s office, and the move has sparked criticism from opposition parties and bar associations. (Kyodo)