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Public backlash forces Japan to shelve bill on illegal downloads

Abe's party bows to young internet users ahead of elections

Illegal downloading of copyrighted content is hurting writers and publishing houses.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government and ruling party have decided not to submit to the current Diet session a bill cracking down on illegal downloads of copyrighted content as various organizations voice concerns about excessive restrictions.

Misgivings were strong among internet users and even copyright holders, worried that the bill would hinder internet freedoms. With upper house elections slated for this summer, LDP leaders concluded that passing an unpopular bill without adequate deliberations would spark a revolt at the ballot box.

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