Jun Yamamoto, who was sexually abused when she was a child by her father, and who now heads a Tokyo-based group that supports victims of sex crimes, smiles in the Diet on Friday. Photo: Kyodo
crime

Japan enacts law to toughen penalties for sex offenses

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This is a deadly serious issue, and it's improper to make light of the victims of abuse like this!

This is a serious issue, and posting this picture, of a woman who was sexually abused by her father at the age of 13, playing up to the camera, is not appropriate!

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Readers, nobody is making light of anything. Ms Yamamoto has given many media interviews about her own situation and the work she has done to get this law enacted. She is standing in the Diet in what is a moment of triumph for her and her organization at the moment that law was enacted. Her jubilant reaction is natural. There is nothing wrong with using this photo.

Totally agree about the use of this picture. In a article focused on her, perhaps. In a straight news story reporting on legal changes, it's just wrong.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Definitely, agree. This looks very bad.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

agree with all above.... these issues dont get the gravity they deserve in Japan as every cause or protest requires a "cute" shot somewhere along the way....demeaning to all....

6 ( +10 / -4 )

YubaruToday06:47 am JST

This is a deadly serious issue, and it's improper to make light of the victims of abuse like this!

Where exactly do you see anyone making light of abuse victims?

This is a serious issue, and posting this picture, of a woman who was sexually abused by her father at the age of 13, playing up to the camera, is not appropriate!

I disagree. One of the things I've heard from talking with people who have experienced sexual assault is that treating them like perpetual victims works just as much against their recovery as does refusing to acknowledge that wrong was done to them. If the evil of sexual assault is that it steals autonomy from its victims, then allowing victims to authentically show what they really feel is part of fighting against it, including allowing the victims to be happy when they feel happy.

Is the photo jarring? Absolutely. It needs a bit more explanation to show why she is smiling. But there's noting intrinsically wrong with Jun Yamamoto smiling if she feels like smiling - even in a news story about sexual assault law.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Is the photo jarring? Absolutely. It needs a bit more explanation to show why she is smiling. But there's noting intrinsically wrong with Jun Yamamoto smiling if she feels like smiling - even in a news story about sexual assault law.

I think it would catch many readers off guard with such a contrasting picture with such a serious issue. A picture in an article is supposed to add or emphasize the topic, not confuse it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

katsu....This woman testified before the Diet about her experiences of being abused by her father and the pain and suffering she went through, the legislation was passed unanimously, thanks too, to her testimony.

But if you read the other posts on this thread, and read the article, it is NOT about her, it's about change in an ancient (relatively) law.

Where exactly do you see anyone making light of abuse victims?

Reread the article, and then tell me again that the photo here is appropriate for the story. The picture alone of this woman smiling is inappropriate. Anyone should be able to see that.

If it was an article about her, and her overcoming her nightmares of abuse, fine, BUT it is not! Just as jcjapan and others have commented, it's wrong for THIS topic, not her!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I think the photo is just too big. It's just a bit strange as far as the layout. Nothing wrong with the advocates smiling but the way it's placed here is confusing. It's hard to connect with the news item the way it is. I have to admit I was puzzled by the picture. It's not wrong but it doesn't quite make sense.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Changing a law that concerns everyone in fact, men and women now, and focusing on one person's fight with a photo is not relevant.

Good step towards more justice but needs full implementation each time as ever needed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My guess is that it is symbolic: Limit your looks to my head, not my body, just as you would do to a man.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Jun Yamamoto, who was molested by her father when she was 13

It is good that so many people can see the hidden message in the photograph...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Very jarring photo. One can only wonder why it was selected....

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If you read the caption and the last paragraph of the story, you'll see why.

It looks like they are doing a ポーズ for the camera.

In the west a rape victim who's just help win a major court case may not celebrate with a pose, but I can see it happening here.

If it offends a bunch of westerners, or they think it's odd, but you show it to 10 locals and they think it's alright, then that's what's going on.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No, I know who she is and what the story is about. Was the photo taken in the Diet? Why the pose? What does it mean? Who are the other people? There's no explanation.

At first I thought it was yet another terrible murder story ( or something akin ) and a photo of the victim taken in a bar.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Great news, about time.

As for the photo itself, didn't see anything inappropriate. Media often publish photos of victims or victims' supporters cheering and clapping outside court when a 'favorable' verdict is delivered. That's exactly how I saw Yumamoto san's shot i.e she's is pleased that after all these years (and we are talking +100y) someone's finally done something about it. Great day for her and all other victims of sexual crimes (as well as J society itself).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Much as I am surprised to find myself agreeing with a moderator here, I see nothing jarring or wrong about the photo. Though the first comment was jarring to me. ("What....?")

An activist for a good cause smiling at a court victory for that cause. This activist tragically knows first-hand how serious the issue is.

If somebody finds that upsetting, it speaks more to their own issues. Are victims required to live their lives with perpetual scowls? And, as Katsu said, it's quite disempowering to require a victim to maintain victim status. Ms. Yamamoto took her victimization and used to to bring positive change to Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Agree with Shallots regarding the size of the photo, and that may be why it's so "in your face" and seemingly an odd choice for a headline photo.

But it's not something to be offended over for crimes sake.

She was the one who suffered, she was the one who fought back, and she posed for the victory shot.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I saw this on the TV news last night. There were other members of the group with Yamamoto, partially seen in this photo. They were so thrilled at the very moment the law was passed. Obviously, the photographer wanted to capture their reaction. Considering Ms Yamamoto's personal life experience, this must have been a supreme moment for her, seeing the results of her tireless efforts come to fruition. I don't what the actual gesture means, but I am certain she would have no objection to seeing this photo in the media.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Jun Yamamoto, who was molested by her father when she was 13"

From what I've seen about Ms Yamamoto on news programs she was --first-- molested by her father at age 13 and it went on for years. And it took her 20 years of struggles as an adult to become what she is today. Congratulations on this well-deserved victory.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with the photo, but I would also say that it doesn't accurately represent the article or extend it in any meaningful way, which an image for an article should. It just wasn't a very good selection.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I agree with the critics of this photo. What a very poor choice of image this is, to illustrate such a grave subject.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good on this lady she is doing an excellent job righting this heinous problem.

No Parent should rape or have sex with a sibling especially it this case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

these stupid laws continue to get worse not better for anyone. The decline of Japan's future will continue and this change to the law only adds more to the problem.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So, would those complaining about the photo rather see a beaten and battered image of a woman or of a woman who has recovered from sexual abuse and gone on to lead a normal life?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I completely agree that toughening rape laws will not deter someone from committing the crime. But it might keep some animals out of the streets (for a bit longer). If such law that doesn't require the victim to press charges was a thing last year, Yuta Takahata would (could but him and his mama got fame and money so...) be in jail right now for binding and raping (and admitting it) that hotel female staff in August last year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, would those complaining about the photo rather see a beaten and battered image of a woman

Why does it have to be one extreme or the other? About something that more accurately represents the article, like a set of scales (of justice), or a picture of the Diet floor or something?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Having read the caption and the last paragraph to realize who the woman is and why she is smiling, I still find myself wondering what the hand gesture means. If she were photographed exactly the same without the hand gesture, I wouldn't even think about the photo.

Now, however, the photo is distracting from the gist of the article which is the toughening of rape laws. The focus of discussion shouldn't be on the editor's misuse/use of a photo but on the topic of the article. Therefore, the photo is no appropriate to This article.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

well i would say i feel the photo is too lighthearted for the topic at hand. i was surprised the story that followed the photo. some judgement seems to be in order. thanks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This ends discussion on the photo. From here on, please focus your comments on the story.

"The law will also raise the minimum sentence for rape resulting in death or injury to six years from five years."  I'm having a problem understanding that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On the other hand,

Abe Government try to cancel sex-crime of one journalist "Yamaguchi".

He is one of cooperative "journalists" to Abe Government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I'm having a problem understanding that"

That's because it makes no sense!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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