The Japanese government is taking this way too far and totally agree with the author of this article that this is a bad bad thing. As I've said before, legislation during emotionally charged times often ends up being stupid and poorly thought through. The ramifications of such a law would be devastating for NGO's and aid workers from Japan, just when such activity is becoming recognized. It almost feels like some stupid conspiracy to use this incident to squash the NGO's in Japan. Bah. I have less and less respect for the Japanese government every day.The Japan TimesKidnap crisis poses a new risk
In Japan's case, laws are being proposed to punish those entering designated "danger zones" without an official reason.
Victims -- or their families -- will foot the bill for their rescue, which will amount to airfare, if not more. "This is standard practice for mountain rescues," one line of reasoning goes.
But consider two things: One is that an aid mission to a danger zone is not a forest stroll gone astray. The very comparison indicates a misunderstanding of what aid missions do.
The second is policy overstretch and political abuse. This law would place a degree of government control over aid organizations, something many don't want. Particularly NGOs (by very the nature of their title) eschew government support, especially when they take on problems governments would rather avoid.
Under this law, they would effectively need official permission to work in some places overseas. Those "unsponsored" who get unlucky will face a "rescue fine" -- which could bankrupt the person or the organization. Thus this new system of rents will curtail Japanese volunteerism.