The PPL was passed in Japan
as a mechanism for the Imperial family
to entrench itself against a growing left wing
. It forbade conspiracy or revolt against the kokutai
, or national essence, of Japan, and effectively illegalized socialism
, and other ideologies that would threaten Japan's emperor
-centered social order.
In 1920, a Tokyo Imperial University professor named Morito Tatsuo was prosecuted for publishing an article critical of Peter Kropotkin, and ended up spending three months in jail on treason charges. His case set a precedent in Japanese law that effectively illegalized the mere discussion of radical ideas, and the goverment's clampdown on dissent only intensified after the 1921 assassination of prime minister Hara Takashi. The Peace Preservation Law was therefore only a legislative embodiment of a legal superstructure that had already existed.
Japan ended up with a strong thought police that arrested more than 50,000 citizens over the next two decades, driving the Japan Communist Party and Korean Communist Party into oblivion. The Special Higher Police were responsible for monitoring films and political campaigns, while military police watched affairs on the ground. This system remained in effect until the new Police Law was passed in 1947 under the eye of the Allied occupation of Japan. By then, the law was unconstitutional anyway (see Japanese Constitution - Chapter III).
ARTICLE 1. Anyone who organizes a group for the purpose of changing the
national polity or of denying the private property system, or anyone
who knowingly participates in said group, shall be sentenced to penal servitude or imprisonment not exceeding ten years. An offense not actually carried out shall also be subject to punishment.
ARTICLE 2. Anyone who consults with another person on matters relating to
the implementation of these objectives described in clause 1 of the preceding
article shall be sentenced to penal servitude or imprisonment not exceeding
ARTICLE 3. Anyone who instigates others for the purpose of implementing
those objectives described in clause 1, article 1, shall be sentenced to penal
servitude or imprisonment not exceeding seven years.
ARTICLE 4. Anyone who instigates others to engage in rioting or assault or other crimes inflicting harm on life, person, or property for the purpose of attaining the objectives of clause 1, article 1, shall be sentenced to penal servitude or imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
ARTICLE 5. Anyone who, for the purpose of committing those crimes described
in clause 1, article 1, and in the preceding three articles, provides money
and goods or other financial advantages for others, or makes an offer or commitment for same, shall be sentenced to penal servitude or imprisonment not excceding five years. Anyone who knowingly receives such considerations, or
makes demand or commitment for same, shall be punished in a similar manner.
ARTICLE 6. Anyone who has committed the crimes described in the three
preceding articles and has surrendered himself voluntarily to authorities shall
have his sentence reduced or be granted immunity from prosecution.
ARTICLE 7. This law shall be made applicable to anyone who commits
crimes described in this law outside of the jurisdiction in which this law is in