Women's rights protesters are taking to the streets for the sixth time in as many months as anger mounts in Japan over "outdated" rape laws, after a man was allowed to walk free despite sexually assaulting his daughter for years Photo: AFP/File
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Anger mounts in Japan over 'outdated' rape laws

69 Comments
By Harumi Ozawa

Women's rights protesters are taking to the streets for the sixth time in as many months as anger mounts in Japan over "outdated" rape laws, after a man was allowed to walk free despite sexually assaulting his daughter for years.

A court ruled the father had sexually abused his child from around the age 13 to 19 and even acknowledged he was violent when she resisted, but he was acquitted because the law requires prosecutors to prove there was overwhelming force, a threat, or that the victim was completely incapacitated.

The verdict is being appealed, but it has sparked outrage with hundreds again expected to demonstrate in cities across the nation Wednesday, while an online petition demanding that any sex without consent be defined as rape -- signed by more than 47,000 people -- has been submitted to the justice ministry.

For Jun Yamamoto, who was abused by her father between the ages of 13 and 20, the story is sickening familiar.

"Again!... That was what I thought," the 45-year-old said, adding: "Japanese justice does not recognize sexual offenses like this as a crime. I cannot tolerate it anymore."

The court acknowledged in the latest incest case that the girl had been forced to have intercourse "against her will" and was psychologically subjugated by her father because of the repeated abuse.

But it said it was unclear whether she was "incapable of resisting", so her father was acquitted of rape.

Yamamoto, a nurse who also works for the rights of sexual abuse victims, is demanding reforms to the Japanese criminal code.

"When caught off guard or attacked by somebody who should be someone you can trust, you freeze in shock and cannot fight back," Yamamoto told AFP.

"Even in a case where a father raped his daughter, the court says she could have resisted and lets him go. This legal situation is really a serious problem." she said, her voice quivering with barely suppressed anger.

While the global #MeToo movement against sexual abuse has stormed through everything from Hollywood to the Italian opera, it has struggled to take off in Japan.

But calls to protect sex abuse victims seem to be winning support, with hundreds expected to rally holding symbolic flowers in 20 cities nationwide on Wednesday.

In one past "Flower Demo" in Tokyo, advocates held banners reading: "Law MUST protect victims, NOT perpetrators"

"Why do we have to ask for this over and over again?" said a tearful protester on mic. "Are we asking for something so inconceivable?"

Activists and lawyers warn that Japan's criminal code, which dates back over a century, is incapable of protecting sexual abuse victims.

"When the criminal code was created in 1907, Japan was purely patriarchal," lawyer Yukiko Tsunoda explained.

"The purpose of criminalising rape was to assure a wife would bear a child only by her husband and never be accessed by other men... It was a law of chastity which would only benefit a husband or the father of a family," she added. "Who wants to protect a woman who so easily lets a rapist do his thing just after a few punches? That was the thinking."

Many activists see the law as part of a broader gender problem in Japan, which, despite relatively high rates of female education and workplace participation, remains unequal in many ways.

Tsunoda said that sexist norms remain embedded in the legal system and systematically undermine women's rights, which according to her explains why Japan is ranked 110th out of 149 countries in the World Economic Forum's latest gender gap report.

In 2017, Japan revised the criminal code on sexual offenses for the first time in 110 years, recognizing male victims, and increasing the punishment for rape from a minimum of three years to five.

But the requirement that a victim be able to prove they could not resist assault remained unchanged.

Tsunoda served on a justice ministry panel considering the reforms and urged the requirement be changed, but a majority disagreed, arguing that it could lead to innocent victims being convicted based on the "subjective" views of alleged victims.

A review will happen next year, but it is unclear whether the controversial rule will be up for discussion.

Yamamoto and fellow rights campaigners are hopeful the voices of tens of thousands of citizens who signed the petition will force legislators to reconsider.

"The petition to remove the requirements seems to be the most supported among the opinions we've received," a justice ministry official told AFP, adding: "We take it very seriously."

But until changes are made protestors say they will continue to rally across the country on the 11th of each month.

Demonstrator Wakana Goto, 28, told protestors at one rally: "In Japan, with its reputation as one of the world's safest countries, I have been exposed to sexual harassment since the age of three, forced to get used to it and to learn to deal with it."

© 2019 AFP

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WilliBSep. 12 04:48 pm JST

Are you sure that is enough? I suggest a written signed document and the presence of a lawyer, otherwise it is rape. Good grief...

I have said it before, so I'll say it again: if a man can't undertand the difference between sexual harassment and flirting, or rape and consensual sex; and if that man is so uncertain about these boundaries that he feels the only way not to be accused is to get a document signed by the girl; well... that man should just refrain from having sex, ever, because he is not mature enough, empathetic enough, or responsible enough to be involved in an adult sexual relationship.

What I find to be interesting is that getting/giving consent is not really an issue between lesbians. It's almost as if.. as if... men are the problem. Huh..... whodathunk?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 I had written, the "age" is one of male menopause in most of the marriages the intimate details of which I have been privileged to learn. 

FYI, just because a man starts losing his sexual drive, due to changes in his body, mostly associated with aging, does not mean they have to "renounce" having sex. There are treatments available!

However, my statement about menopause, was about women, and your statement here;

As for menopause meaning safety from unexpected birthing, a Nagasaki A-bomb survivor conceived a child at age 47 and successfully birthed him.

Just because it was unexpected, doe not mean she was through menopause. And it's a poor argument to make talking about one woman alone.

After women go through menopause they stop producing eggs so there is no chance for them to get pregnant and not need to contraceptives to prevent a pregnancy either.

All you are talking about is some "religious" based ideas by some guy Master Noguchi Haruchika, whose teachings you seem to think are the "word", doesnt make it so!

My parents, god rest their souls, had a healthy "sex life" into their 60's and 70's, and god willing I will too!

It bugs the hell out of me when people start talking from a religious point of view and expect that the world should follow their examples!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A couple of years later, I found out she was telling people that I had assaulted her.

I have had the displeasure of communicating with women would would vehemently insist you did, based on what you said. And some of them seem to believe it while others just seem to think what you did made you deserving of the accusation even if you went to jail. Naturally these women cannot understand why a place like Japan refuses to change their laws according to their wishes. They all seem to think Cinderella's shoe surely fits their foot.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Because asking a woman a direct question and getting enthusaistc consent in the form of "yes, I'd love to have sex with you" is impossible, eh Strangerland?

Um, I said this, in this very thread:

You don't need to [prove consent], you just need to get it.

Which is generally as easy as just periodically confirming that she's ok.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

girl in tokyo;

> Because asking a woman a direct question and getting enthusaistc consent in the form of "yes, I'd love to have sex with you" is impossible, eh Strangerland?

Are you sure that is enough? I suggest a written signed document and the presence of a lawyer, otherwise it is rape. Good grief...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In response to "Yubaru," who actually read what I had written, the "age" is one of male menopause in most of the marriages the intimate details of which I have been privileged to learn. The Sei Tai [the characters are "put in order" "body"] Master NOGUCHI Haruchika seems to opine that humans are all better off health-wise to renounce sexual coupling at a reasonable age {still seeking the source}. Thus, contrary to English-newspaper-human-interest stories about sex after menopause, not EVERYBODY wants as a matter of course to continue without end. As for menopause meaning safety from unexpected birthing, a Nagasaki A-bomb survivor conceived a child at age 47 and successfully birthed him. It had seemed to her that she had passed menopause, but .... in fact she had not! To put this in some context, I have repeated elsewhere that a New York City police woman of the year (around 1970-75?) defined "rape" as "not a sexual act, but an act of violence against women"--this point wives who "feel raped" must take into their vocabularies. Painful intercourse is not rape. Legal definitions that try to protect those tricked by an overpowering coupling person (generally [but theoretically not only] male) use the matter of "consent"--the problem then becomes: how to read the heart of the victim as to consenting or not. In a Japan where AIMAI (ambivalence) is cool, I have no idea how to construct a good law. If the event is with a minor, the USA defines it as rape; but in Japan, it seems that a sort of shared self-sex is not condemned always and everywhere. I do not have any data at all, but the "virgin-mother" model for all relatives (as an "ideal type" and a goal) is rather replaced by the Bodhisattva or goddess Kannon who embodies compassion as "suffering with" the other. Which model produces more purity in real life remains beyond the supercomputers' listing as it requires input no one has. A sacrament "touches our senses lightly" conveying meaning and comfort; the family is a very central sacrament in contemporary Japan, I think. What do you call it? Sublimation? has many facets here these days.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

While male fears of false rape accusations get blown way out of proportion to what the actual likelihood of that happening is

I agree with you that it is blown way out of proportion, it does happen. I've told the story on this site before, but years ago I hooked up with one girl, then her friend later that night. She found out, told me where to go in no uncertain terms, which I sort of did (I didn't contact her anymore).

A couple of years later, I found out she was telling people that I had assaulted her. Fortunately, she never went to the police with this accusation, but even so, that kind of thing can come back to hurt, bad.

This is why it angers me when people preach 'always believe women', or that men shouldn't care, because it happens proportionally less. When it happens to you, you don't give a damn about the proportions, and you definitely don't want everyone to believe her out of hand.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What the hell is wrong with Japanese judges?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Because asking a woman a direct question and getting enthusaistc consent in the form of "yes, I'd love to have sex with you" is impossible, eh Strangerland?

Not a fan of the 'direct question' thing tbh. In my world lovers kiss, caress, fondle, take each others clothes off ('will keep me socks on, thanks luv'), sometimes talk/whisper 'should we go to your room', 'what time's your flatmate coming back' etc but no 'would you like to have sex with me right now' type of question. And it works just fine.

Re this article, the laws in question arent 'outdated' they were always wrong. Incest & pedophilia, no thanks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That's a beautiful theory, but it is mere formality for the simple reason that only in a minority of these cases will there be any third-party evidence of consent. It will be He-said, She-said and either the judge takes the woman at her word (dreaming up some BS about how "credible" she sounded) or he goes with the principle of not convicting on accusation and you are back where you started.

Its not a mere formality. Yup, sometimes its necessary for a judge two weigh two contradictory accounts of what happened. And yup, doing so often means evaluating the credibility of the witnesses (accused and accuser) giving their testimony. Its not dreamed up BS though. A judge has a lot of tools at their disposal in evaluating credibility - have stories changed? Is there any sort of corroborating or contradictory evidence with one story? Has the witness been dishonest? Do their stories make sense?

And of course if the judge has doubts about the accuser's story, the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard requires an acquittal.

Bottom line is that the rules of evidence and the standards and burden of proof (defendants don't actually have to prove anything in a criminal trial, the onus is entirely on the prosecution) provide massive protections for accused against false accusations.

Rape victims on the other hand face massive hurdles to having their attackers brought to justice. Even in countries without the anachronistic definition of rape in the Japanese Criminal Code, which just takes it to an absolutely insane level.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow, battling for women's rights? Welcome to the 1970's, Japan. It's about time!

"When the criminal code was created in 1907, Japan was purely patriarchal,"

Or I guess I'm wrong? Welcome to 1907, Japan...............

3 ( +3 / -0 )

StrangerlandToday 11:57 am JST

there are definitely "ways" to create laws to remove the risks.

Yeah, I guess so. It could be determined that a written and signed consent form, along with video, must be submitted prior to having sex, and the lack of doing is defined as rape.

The problem being which partner to charge with rape...

Because asking a woman a direct question and getting enthusaistc consent in the form of "yes, I'd love to have sex with you" is impossible, eh Strangerland?

It's just soooo haaaaard for a man to know if a woman wants to have sex. Poor men - gotta feel sorry for them.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

rainydayToday 11:46 am JST

Nobody has to prove consent (in countries where the lack of consent is a defining element of rape, which is most countries). The onus is on the prosecution to prove there was a lack of consent.

That's a beautiful theory, but it is mere formality for the simple reason that only in a minority of these cases will there be any third-party evidence of consent. It will be He-said, She-said and either the judge takes the woman at her word (dreaming up some BS about how "credible" she sounded) or he goes with the principle of not convicting on accusation and you are back where you started.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

there are definitely "ways" to create laws to remove the risks.

Yeah, I guess so. It could be determined that a written and signed consent form, along with video, must be submitted prior to having sex, and the lack of doing is defined as rape.

The problem being which partner to charge with rape...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the risk is too much for you to bear, then you probably are a person who should only pay for sex

In retrospect, I don't even think I should have recommended that - you can get accused of rape by a prostitute as well.

Stick to robots I guess.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How do you prove consent ?

Nobody has to prove consent (in countries where the lack of consent is a defining element of rape, which is most countries). The onus is on the prosecution to prove there was a lack of consent.

A Woman agrees to come back to your apartment, or invites you to hers, you've both been out for dinner and had a few drinks together, and once back in privacy become a bit amorous, kissing fondling, etc. "No" is never mentioned, forceful abusive attack is never committed, yet... the next day, Second thoughts arise... and she starts freaking out saying you raped her! WTF now what ?!

This is my modern day nightmare situation for my Kids...

Let me guess, you have boys?

I have a daughter and I can tell you THAT situation, which almost never happens in real life (unlike rape, which happens all the time), is nowhere near as bad as my nightmare situation for her in this context. If she doesn't consent (way too young now, but when she is an adult) I want the law to protect her, which it does not do right now and that is obscene.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No consent = Rape

It's so simple and yet some people seems to find it so difficult to comprehend.

So calledly most perfect sentient creature on earth with full capacity for higher thought and yet some people still act even worse than animals in heat...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If the risk is too much for you to bear, then you probably are a person who should only pay for sex, as there is no way we could create laws to remove those risks.

Bit harsh as the question actually sounded rhetorical, and yet there are definitely "ways" to create laws to remove the risks.

It's just that no one wants to go to the trouble, thats all!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How do you prove consent ?

You don't need to, you just need to get it.

Which is generally as easy as just periodically confirming that she's ok.

Unless it's rough, in which case you need to make sure you have some sort of safe word so she can let you know if it's not ok.

Now, I know your question was as to how you prove consent - and sure, that's hard (although there are apps these days). And the fact is, it's pretty hard to prove consent, but you do run some risk any time you sleep with a girl. Same as a girl runs a risk when going with a guy that if she changes her mind, the possibility is that she will get raped.

These are the risks we face in life. If the risk is too much for you to bear, then you probably are a person who should only pay for sex, as there is no way we could create laws to remove those risks.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If you do not understand how to get consent, I suggest refraining from having sex...ever.

You miss the point totally!

Not to mention with what you answered here, Any guy should be deathly afraid of hooking up with you!

To me it sounds like you want a guy to sit down, fill out a legal document that is signed and notarized prior to having sex! The example you are quoting is a perfect example of how a guy or gal could get entrapped or accused of rape.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

mmwkdwToday 12:59 am JST

How do you prove consent ? A Woman agrees to come back to your apartment, or invites you to hers, you've both been out for dinner and had a few drinks together, and once back in privacy become a bit amorous, kissing fondling, etc. "No" is never mentioned, forceful abusive attack is never committed, yet... the next day, Second thoughts arise... and she starts freaking out saying you raped her! WTF now what ?!

If you do not understand how to get consent, I suggest refraining from having sex...ever.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Akie - Savage laws are as bad as no laws.

I’m quite sure your opinion would change if it were your daughter or wife that was beaten and raped. Then, you’d be calling for the death penalty.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

 I have heard of a married man who became of the age when sexual activity must be renounced (because the religion of his partner forbid any but a chancy way to space or prevent conceptions). He was unable, at least at first, to comply (and his wife experienced something close to rape from her point of view)

I am trying to wrap my head around this, "became of the age when sexual activity must be renounced"?!?!?

Please tell me, just what age is that?

His partner, in this case, wife, sounds like she was Catholic, meaning no contraception allowed, yet if he was of an age, where he was supposed to "renounce" having sex, odds are his wife(partner) wouldnt need contraceptives anyway.

And by the way, just because the wife hits menopause and cant have any children anymore doesnt mean they have to stop having sex!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Any father that has sex with his own daughter is one sick,( I cant write it here) no matter how old she may be, and the younger she is, this sicker HE is!

Anyone that thinks this was a valid or just decision, is in the same boat as this man, to me at least!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Probably the most wise, just and intelligent people I have met have been women. But they are a slim minority of women. It really takes a woman to declare that a law that prevented rape from all men but her very own husband did not benefit women. Statements like that quote make me want to toss out all laws and just let the chips fall where they may.

Repugnant.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And yet, ignoramuses out there continue to spout off that Japanese do not engage in public demonstrations or political issues they feel passionate about.

You do realize there are over 120 million Japanese people, correct?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Feodal ages ruling.

Only 47 000 signatures against this court ruling only.

In most countries, it would have been at least millions...

Objectively, Japanese women still don't realize or don't want to get trouble after being f...d.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan should be ashamed of this ruling and the current law which allows it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

garypen:

Claiming rape is not rape if the victim doesn't sufficiently resist is a disgusting miscarriage of justice regardless of the victim's age.

Regarding adults, no it is not, because there is a large grey area incling false rape accusations of which there have been many. You can not give a carte blanche to one group based on biological gender.

However, this case involved dependent children, so it is a completely different issue.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

A court ruled the father had sexually abused his child from around the age 13 to 19 and even acknowledged he was violent when she resisted, but he was acquitted because the law requires prosecutors to prove there was overwhelming force, a threat, or that the victim was completely incapacitated.

Question: Isn’t there the concept of statuatory rape in Japan? This crime is bad enough but the child was just 13. Cannot an adult can be prosecuted for the mere fact that he had sexual relations with a minor.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

How do you prove consent ? A Woman agrees to come back to your apartment, or invites you to hers, you've both been out for dinner and had a few drinks together, and once back in privacy become a bit amorous, kissing fondling, etc. "No" is never mentioned, forceful abusive attack is never committed, yet... the next day, Second thoughts arise... and she starts freaking out saying you raped her! WTF now what ?!

This is my modern day nightmare situation for my Kids... thankfully in my time, it didn't happen like that, Girls were Girls and Boys were Boys, and we played together and if we both did something together that wasn't clearly forced, then we accepted that, and either moved on or moved in. Nowadays... you appear to need a Lawyer at your beside (oh no doubt some bright spark will produce a thumb print application to show your agreement along with voice certification before being given a bright green Tick mark that will be shown on your Facebook profile for all to see...)

We need to weed out the real Rapists, the real Abusers, and deranged People, from the rest of us - agreed, but don't please rush to accuse a person by default and ruin their Career - since that's open to abuse by Scammers wishing to Cash-in on your potential Wealth/Fame.... as we have seen recently with a certain Footballer.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

"The purpose of criminalising rape was to assure a wife would bear a child only by her husband and never be accessed by other men... It was a law of chastity which would only benefit a husband or the father of a family," she added.

Probably the most wise, just and intelligent people I have met have been women. But they are a slim minority of women. It really takes a woman to declare that a law that prevented rape from all men but her very own husband did not benefit women. Statements like that quote make me want to toss out all laws and just let the chips fall where they may.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Totally agree with most of the posts above and the women demanding change. The law is outrageously out of touch and needs to be changed asap, Japan loves to see itself as a member of the 'advanced countries 'club so get on with this.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The absence of just laws also works against some men (it is not, therefore, merely "sexist"): For example, I have heard of a married man who became of the age when sexual activity must be renounced (because the religion of his partner forbid any but a chancy way to space or prevent conceptions). He was unable, at least at first, to comply (and his wife experienced something close to rape from her point of view). Sadly, as the couple saw a counsellor, the male told of planning suicide. "Praying for him" the counsellor nevertheless seemed to me not to comprehend his point of view. Asked to come to his apt. {separate from his wife for a while}, she delayed only to find him dead of his own hand. (Stricken with self-criticism, she told us all her story.) This "rape within marriage" often happens around that age. Isolated persons have even greater negative feelings about such events compared with those who compare their lives with other people's stories.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The verdict is being appealed, but it has sparked outrage with hundreds again expected to demonstrate in cities across the nation Wednesday, while an online petition demanding that any sex without consent be defined as rape -- signed by more than 47,000 people -- has been submitted to the justice ministry.

And yet, ignoramuses out there continue to spout off that Japanese do not engage in public demonstrations or political issues they feel passionate about.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

A father is not supposed to have sex with his 13 years old daughter. What's wrong with you?

Did I write anything that in any way condones such behavior? I just expressed a doubt that a change in the law alone will be enough to stop such incidents.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What part of "No" or "Stop" is difficult to understand? As far as I know if a woman says no or stop then that's it. If the bloke continues that's rape. A woman should not have to prove she couldn't resist the attacker... if the bloke is engaging in sexual intercourse after being told no or to stop then he's a rapist. How hard is that to understand?

Sex with an underage child should automatically be regarded as rape. Adults are well aware of what they're doing.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Disgraceful that her father could get away with raping his daughter over and over for six years. Let's hope the appeal leads to an appropriate sentence (30+ years) for that disgusting rapist.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Even after reading the ruling, I still don’t get how the incident when she was 13 isn’t statutory rape. 14 is the age of consent right?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Savaged laws are as bad as no laws.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Japan is a society of rule of laws, as Abe claimed.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Something is completely off with this news because if it wasn't I scarcely think anyone could be sent to jail for rape....yet I am sure there are many. What am I missing here?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The Japanese government is in dire need of an overhaul of their juridical system and some of their archaic laws and that goes for a lot of countries around the world as well.

Sexual assault and rape towards another person should be punished severally.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

WilliB

I can see the point of the law if the victim is an adult...

Claiming rape is not rape if the victim doesn't sufficiently resist is a disgusting miscarriage of justice regardless of the victim's age.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The whole structure is skewed and warped, allowing such things to happen.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A court ruled the father had sexually abused his child from around the age 13 to 19 and even acknowledged he was violent when she resisted, but he was acquitted because the law requires prosecutors to prove there was overwhelming force, a threat, or that the victim was completely incapacitated

So, don’t tell me! This law was last updated some 50 odd years ago at the peak of the male dominated Japanese society. It’s only a little over 100 years ago that women were able to go to school. Japan has a few positive things, but sexual equality is not and I fear never will be one of the positive points of Japan.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sheer madness.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Do Japanese men support this change or do they wish to maintain tradition?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

So basically, pedophilia is allowed in Japan, as long as there is no overwhelming force...

The judge should be publicly ridiculed.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

 without fear or judgement.

For this to happen, an entire mindset has to be revised. The culture of victim blaming is endemic in japanese society. It never seizes to shock me to the core every time I read cases of abuse that keep occurring and getting swept under the rag because victims are considered weak and undeserving of empathy. This is terribly shocking!! It's why unfortunately, short of a miracle, the plight of women in japan isn't going to change.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It would appear that some parts of Japanese society remain stuck in the 19th century. Current Japanese rape laws are not supporting the victim at all, and do nothing to discourage such actions.

Time to move forward in time and write modern effective laws that balance peoples rights.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

incapable of resisting

I want to know how the judge defines "incapable of resisting".

If resisting means to resist unsuccessfully, then isn't this a catch 22? If you do resist your attacker then it disproves your inability to resist. If you don't...well, we know how that goes down too.

Or does "resisting" mean to successfully overpower your attacker?

In which case, the girl in question was indeed incapable of resisting.

Which is it?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Good for them. I hope the law is changed. Its unforgivable what this evil "father" did. He deserved to be in prison for a minimum 40 years. I guess he cant be charged with rape again if the law is changed?

I can not believe the hypocrisy of what I am reading here. Looking for sympathy for the victim and yourself at the same time.

I can not believe that someone who makes so many claims about the "safe" "innovative" forward looking" "gender equal" and so many other things only positive about Japan, would come here and make such a hypocritical comment!

You dont believe this for one minute! Time to get off the "ganbare wagon" and join the real world that looks to drag Japan kicking and screaming into the 21st Century!

And btw, this "father" deserved life without the chance of parole! It's statutory rape, and he should never have been allowed to see the sun, ever again in his life! He is so totally lucky that he lives in Japan. Anywhere else in the world he would be viewed as the lowest of the scum, and in any other prison, odds are he wouldn't live to see another birthday!

6 ( +13 / -7 )

A horrendously backwards law!

Insulting to any victim.

If we can change laws real fast for drones and for trade and money, then a freaking “lawmaker” should be on this last week!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I can see the point of the law if the victim is an adult, but a 13 year old child dependent on the family including the rapist? That is just insane to excuse that. That law must be changed.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

father raped his daughter, the court says she could have resisted and lets him go.

The law should be able to protect people like this. Even if they can’t speak up for themselves. A father is supposed to protect his daughter. A law like that definitely needs to change. That’s why many countries create statutory laws. So even when someone can’t speak up or fight back, they are still protected.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Good for them. I hope the law is changed. Its unforgivable what this evil "father" did. He deserved to be in prison for a minimum 40 years. I guess he cant be charged with rape again if the law is changed?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Revolting beyond words.

This stuff happens all day every day and it will never stop until the pomade-slathered 80 year olds who control this country are shamed into erasing their "justice" system and starting again.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Part of my old job consisted of translating medical domestic/sexual abuse victim testimony from Japanese into English for research purposes. One of the most difficult jobs I've ever had. Think of the worst child/sexual abuse possible in your mind and I doubt it even approaches some of the things I had to read every day. The parents are really all children have to protect them so when it's the parents are the ones to break that protection it disrupts every aspect of that child's psyche. It will stay with them forever, and almost inevitably leads to a cycle of violence generation after generation. We must encourage women to speak up and when they (for whatever reason) can't, to make sure they have access to a support system by which they can stop their torment without fear or judgement.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

This is repugnant in so many levels.

and even acknowledged he was violent when she resisted

Being violent is when there is resistance is an implied threat of violence in future instances if there is resistance. Come on, judges, interpret the law; it's literally your effing job!

The entire Japanese "justice" system needs to be overhauled, not just the rape laws.

This dude's name needs to be plastered all over the media.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Japan's attitude towards women is what you would expect in something like the Middle East, or a private golf club... not one of the richest, outwardly modern countries in the world - but then Japan is behind the times in quite a few areas of social justice... and animal welfare.

But they really need to start taking rape seriously, and not just expect women to live with it.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

For cases such as those in the article where the victim is too fearful or upset to resist a father, how many would be willing to report the abuse?

That doesn't not matter what the victim did or not here. A father is not supposed to have sex with his 13 years old daughter. What's wrong with you?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

 who was abused by her father between the ages of 13 and 20

He abused sexually the daughter when she was just a child. In any civilized country, this alone is a serious serious crime, regardless if she resisted or not, or whatever stupid reasons given by the court. Do they think that a 13 years old child is consentent to have sex with her father? What pathetic logic is this? The country is still stuck in stone age, that's incredible.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

While the law needs to change, I wonder how effective such changes will be. For cases such as those in the article where the victim is too fearful or upset to resist a father, how many would be willing to report the abuse? And if they report it later, it is too late to undo the abuse they suffered. It's possible that legal changes may deter some abusers, but probably not so many. So in addition to changing the laws, other social changes are probably necessary that make it easier for potential victims to voice their fears to someone who can help before any serious abuse takes place. Unfortunately, I don't have any good answers for that.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The few cases cited in the article are so depressing... and enraging.

I hope these brave women persevere and finally get the changes they are asking.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

This should all start from the education to allow less sexual offenders.

Starting to stop hypersexualizing young women and stop selling dirty magazines on convenience stores, or stop forcing women at the offices to force them wear skirt and high heels.

Still a long way to go to catch up the other democratic countries under the women rights.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

I think the first step to getting more public opinion is to raise awareness about it. Create online campaigns, chat groups, social support circles, etc. And if (that's a big if) you've gained enough public awareness and following, advocate people to stand up against sexual abuses. If authorities can't help them, then maybe shaming them on the internet will. I'm not discrediting the government's role in this but I'm just assuming that they might not take an active role as the women want. The first step is always the hardest, waking up to the reality is the toughest but women have to stop bearing it and take a stand.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

When the criminal code was created in 1907, Japan was purely patriarchal

Was? Another one in denial I guess. Japan is purely patriarchal. This ruling that does not condemn the father for sexually abusing his daughter is a proof of it. The country still considers that what the patriarch owns, it can use and abuse at will. A daughter is seen as a property of the patriarch (here the father) so having insane behavior (sexual activities with his own child) is not seen as a crime.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

Keep on keeping on ladies!

It is incredible to think that the courts do not simply expect women to somehow fight back against sexual violence, they expect a thirteen-year-old child to do so too. That is someone who cannot legally give consent. The logic being applied by the courts is truly deranged.

30 ( +33 / -3 )

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