Anti-stalking law amended to include email harassment


A bill has been enacted in the Diet to extended its anti-stalking laws to include email in an attempt to reduce cases in which victims are harassed online by ex-partners.

A plenary session of the lower house on Wednesday approved an amendment to the anti-stalking regulations of 2000, aimed at preventing jilted lovers from sending repeated, unsolicited emails to former partners.

The 2000 legislation explicitly made illegal harassment by fax, telephone or following victims, but did not include harassment by email.

The new law comes in response to a number of high-profile stalking cases. Last November, a man who stalked and then murdered his ex-girlfriend in Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, had sent her more than 1,000 email messages to her cell phone over a two-week period.

The new stalking law, however, does not include Facebook and other social networking services.

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This is another half-step for Japan, albeit one in the right direction. The Diet and certainly the police need to catch up to the realities of smartphones, location services and social networking.

5 ( +5 / -1 )

...harassment by fax...

Japan must be the only country in the world where this is an issue. And as Jeff said above, a half-step indeed. This clearly has something to do with many lawmakers being in their 70's and completely unaware of more modern communicative methods. To be honest, I don't think the pollies take this seriously at all. They should though. Stalking is a serious intrusion and should be handled seriously.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What's the use of these new laws if the police aren't doing anything to enforce them?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So, how do they determine harassment? Is it by quantity? If so, how many? Is it by content? Is it a combination of both? It's either a very vague legislation or a very vague article. The example given states 1,000 emails over two weeks. Is that the limit? It is quite common for people to email four or five times a day, especially during a break up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


3 ( +3 / -0 )

What's the use of these new laws if the police aren't doing anything to enforce them?

Agreed. Japan has wonderful labor laws encouraging equal employment and opportunity, but nobody is enforcing them.

Japan always has a two side social (culture) system; "TATEMAE" (supposed to be) and "HON-NE" (reality), the gap between the two is too big to be ignored.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It was astonishing that email wasn't included in the anti-stalking laws but now that it is, it's astonishing that social networking services aren't.

Do they always WANT to be one (ten) steps behind??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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