crime

Japan too soft on sex offenders, vast majority of survey respondents say

28 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

In some ways, the Japanese legal system can be extremely tough on crime. This is after all, the country where a foreign college student remains in lockup eight months after reportedly breaking a lamp at a bar, and where the police are still searching for vandals who caused a ruckus at a Halloween party in order to bring them to justice, even though we’re well into the next calendar year.

But that doesn’t mean that Japanese citizens think their country is a police state. On the contrary, a recent survey by Japanese survey site Shirabee shows that many Japanese people think their country should be tougher on offenders in one area: sex crimes.

Shirabee recently polled 1,344 Japanese men and women between the ages of 20 and 69, asking them “Do you think that Japan is too forgiving of sex offenders?” The vast majority, 86.5 percent, answered “Yes.” The survey administrators say there wasn’t a large discrepancy between male and female respondents, either, with over 80 percent of both groups saying Japan should be tougher on rapists, chikan, domestic abusers, sexual harassers, and those who commit other acts of illegal indecency outside of those specific categories.

While the survey didn’t ask respondents for specific examples, it’s hard not to think of high-profile cases such as when the creator of popular manga/anime Rurouni Kenshin admitted to charges of possession of child pornography, and not only avoided jail time but was back to work drawing his serialized comic in just seven months.

More recently, an idol singer in Niigata Prefecture was attacked by two men who tried to force their way into her home (an incident that took place prior to the survey), but both were released by the police with no criminal charges filed against them, and the singer herself ended up apologizing for “causing a commotion,” so maybe t’s not so surprising that so many respondents feel that Japan needs to stop using kid gloves when dealing with sex offenders.

Source: Shirabee via Niconico News via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

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28 Comments
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Eye for an eye, despite its name, is not reciprocal. if you commit adultery under reciprocal, you would have adultery committed to you (silly - therefore would not be considered a crime in reciprocal any more than drugs); adultery under eye for an eye would be stoning or drowning. More like a life for an eye.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If person sx assaults, they should be sx assaulted in the same manner.

An eye for an eye - Code of Hammurabi, Babylonian code of law of ancient Mesopotamia

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wby do countries have a sx offender registry after perp has served his time? Why do these same countries not have murder offender or theft offender registries? Recidivism is not just for sx crimes. Can't live within 500 feet of a combini or other commercial building, for example.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think punishment should be reciprocal unless the victim or victims family forgive.

If person steals ¥5000, they should return ¥5000 with interest and do community service.

If a person murders, he should be murdered, unless victims family forgive - likely will need jail time or house arrest still for public safety.

If person sx assaults, they should be sx assaulted in the same manner.

This would free up the prisons definitely.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Without going into detail I agree with the premise, but there are probably way too few in authority who are willing to take some kind of principled stand.

They might follow the letter of the law, so perhaps it is time to increase the penalties for what the world now sees as sexual offenses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

acts that would get someone given a medal in any other country can get you in trouble very easily here.

Actually they give Letter of thanks (感謝状 ) to certain people but why in some case they treat good samaritan as criminal while other good samaritan can get Letter of thanks, that’s still a question.

Sometimes is not necessary because trying to intervene a crime like disillusioned. Just simply reporting a crime or only helping someone to fill a report can make someone being check.

Like dirk-t

Once I saw a man laying on the sidewalk near Mister Donut being beaten in the head by another man with his own shoe. I walked over to a Koban in sight and pointed it out to an officer. The policeman took one look at the pair of them and the expression on his face said, "I can't be bothered with these two losers" and he began walking back to his post but not before he asked me for my ID and what I was doing there.

or smithinjapan. 

I have seen this, first hand, and have also seen the fallout of it on victims. My friend was sexually assaulted and when we went to police, which I had to convince her to do, I was asked to leave after they checked my foreign registration card and even my bicycle

They beg people who have any information for unsolved cases since they have plenty unsolved cases but seeing they handle people who report no wonder no one step forward. 

第二百十三条 現行犯人は、何人でも、逮捕状なくしてこれを逮捕することができる。 

 Article 213 Any person may arrest a flagrant offender without an arrest warrant.

Even in this law in favor for good samaritan but in actual situation good samaritan can be investigated for ''暴行'' (assault). So this not come easily unless accompanied by a lawyer. 

During my work (interpreting at police stations, immigration, bar associations) I have witnessed no less than 5 of these cases the good samaritan gets in trouble, mostly people with little to no experience in Japan mistaking this place for the average compassionate, sc**w the criminals euro-american society.

@finally-rich what kind of cases that good samaritan was involved but things just not end up in good way for theM?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems like Japan is about the only country where known pedophiles and sexual offenders can continue to have successful careers.

Well, Hollywood comes to mind....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I find Kochi and Nagoya, a pleasant safe environment.

After one Gin and Tonic too many and foolishly leaving my handbag in the odd Izakaya. The item is returned with all contents intact.

I can leave my car and bicycle, and feel confident in the knowledge both will be awaiting my return without one up on bricks or the other minus it seat, handlebars, or any peripheral mechanical oily bits necessary to aid my journey home.

My home does not require a moat, or elevated observation posts. My Neighbours kindly look after my home and garden when I travel. My local Koban are polite and helpful, even giving the occasional salute when passing..

However these above reported assaults, bullying, and unthinkable acts of child abuse have to stop. The perpetrators held, and publicly, be seen to be held accountable for there actions. Frankly expunged from society.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He only possessed it? I'll roll with it.

I'll just go on record saying that I am not cool with the criminal justice system just "rolling with it" when they find people in possession of child pornography.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday 01:17 pm JST

He only possessed it? I'll roll with it.

I hope all those who "roll" with child pornography are duly arrested and publicly named.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The Code of Criminal Procedure does provide for citizen's arrest

第二百十三条 現行犯人は、何人でも、逮捕状なくしてこれを逮捕することができる。

Article 213 Any person may arrest a flagrant offender without an arrest warrant.

How it works in practice is another matter.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

While the survey didn’t ask respondents for specific examples, it’s hard not to think of high-profile cases such as when the creator of popular manga/anime Rurouni Kenshin admitted to charges of possession of child pornography, and not only avoided jail time but was back to work drawing his serialized comic in just seven months.

He only possessed it? I'll roll with it.

or example, using the internet and/or social media to groom underage girls carries a mandatory sentence of 7-10 years in prison in Australia. In Japan, it's a 12 month probation (if that much).

Here's the thing. Criminal law is supposed to penalize things that members of that society intuitively find disgusting, no more than that. If we accept the premise that Japanese just don't find "A" very icky, there is no justification for criminalization of "A" , or increasing any penalties that already exist.

I think Disillusioned already posted a similar case here but I remember watching Police 24h, an episode when a girl realizes a creepy is taking upskirt pictures of her, she calls her korean boyfriend, he restrains the guy while cops come, and the rest of the history you all already know..... the creepy goes free while the korean guy is investigated for '''暴行'' (assault).

And what might be the reason they show this on TV without any sign of protest or disbelief from the narrator?

1-Take justice in your own hands is an inexcusable, bad act

In the eyes of the law, taking justice in one's own hands is vigilantism, and is not viewed favorably.

@DisillusionedToday 11:00 am JST

When I read that, my first thought is that we need to make the basic principles of criminal law a mandatory subject in compulsory education.

Independent of any influences you being a foreigner had, here is what it looked like legally based on this description. The upskirt guy at most met the definitional elements of an ordnance violation (probably anti-nuisance).

You met the definitional elements of a crime in the criminal code proper and against one of the most uncontroversial protected legal interests (Health/Body, or shintai in Japanese).

While you had a justification and he did not, the potential offense you committed is graver in the eyes of the law. It is nearly inevitable you were grilled more heavily.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@finally rich - If you ever find someone in trouble in Japan, keep distance from the scene at all costs.

Aint that the truth!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japanese cops said to me in English, "Stay out of Japan business." As a result, I stay out of Japan business and couldn't give fat rat's what they do to each other. 

During my work (interpreting at police stations, immigration, bar associations) I have witnessed no less than 5 of these cases the good samaritan gets in trouble, mostly people with little to no experience in Japan mistaking this place for the average compassionate, sc**w the criminals euro-american society.

If you ever find someone in trouble in Japan, keep distance from the scene at all costs.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"but both were released by the police with no criminal charges filed against them, and the singer herself ended up apologizing for “causing a commotion,”

I have seen this, first hand, and have also seen the fallout of it on victims. My friend was sexually assaulted and when we went to police, which I had to convince her to do, I was asked to leave after they checked my foreign registration card and even my bicycle. She later told me that they asked her a history of her boyfriends, made her reenact certain positions of what happened, and eventually convinced her that it would be a waste of time to formally file a "complaint". She was humiliated on top of being assaulted.

I saw the same thing, too, with bullying. Kids were forced to confront their bullies, and often THEY had to apologise while the bully just said nothing, then the kids were let go. It's prevalent in all aspects of society here when it comes to relationships, unless the assault is against some kind of authority figure or the system.

rgcivilian1: "Bias media and polls such as these are not supportive nor belong as news worthy stories but rather wishful thinking of those against Japan and its people."

It was done by Japanese, for Japanese. This is just an article in English covering it. Maybe you're the one with the bias, my friend, pushing it on others (not maybe, definitely). Every nation has problems with its law enforcement, and Japan is no exception, which is why it is so low on the human rights scale.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Finally rich - I think Disillusioned already posted a similar case here but I remember watching Police 24h, an episode when a girl realizes a creepy is taking upskirt pictures of her, she calls her korean boyfriend, he restrains the guy while cops come, and the rest of the history you all already know..... the creepy goes free while the korean guy is investigated for '''暴行'' (assault).

I've been a victim of the exact same thing. I grabbed a creep taking video up the skirt of one of high school students about six years ago. I told the girls to get the station staff and they came quickly. We went to the office and the police arrived about 15 minutes later. They put us in separate rooms and asked me what happened. They left and interrogated him for about 20 minutes and let hime go (I could hear the interrogation). Then, they started on me. I was held and interrogated for over two hours. The creep had told the cops I assaulted him. They called my wife, the school I worked at and contacted the embassy. At the end of the all the BS one of the Japanese cops said to me in English, "Stay out of Japan business." As a result, I stay out of Japan business and couldn't give fat rat's what they do to each other. However, gawd help any one of these creeps that do anything to my daughter.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

There should be no excuses for any sex offenses, zero tolerance. Surgical operation if it is necessary.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

ToshihiroToday 09:52 am JST

I agree with this. I think the high rates of sexual crime here are indicative of wider societal problems that have not been addressed. There are many aspects to these problems.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

there are also many who participate willingly for the money. I often hear of teenage girls meeting middle-aged men in love hotels after being offered money.

And they are willing participants - consenting, but not adults.

This article is talking about non-consenting acts, ie sexual assault. "Some women, do so all women probably do" is the rapist's eternal excuse, and it is an excuse that nobody should be accepting or even considering.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Any country that only gives about 7 years for killing their own children is not "considered tough on crime". At most it's imbalanced with ridiculously severe penalties for possession of pot while soft on sex crimes and family abuse.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

one thing that used to scare me to hell in this place is the total lack of ''self-defense'' notion in the Japanese police playbook.... acts that would get someone given a medal in any other country can get you in trouble very easily here.

I think Disillusioned already posted a similar case here but I remember watching Police 24h, an episode when a girl realizes a creepy is taking upskirt pictures of her, she calls her korean boyfriend, he restrains the guy while cops come, and the rest of the history you all already know..... the creepy goes free while the korean guy is investigated for '''暴行'' (assault).

And what might be the reason they show this on TV without any sign of protest or disbelief from the narrator?

1-Take justice in your own hands is an inexcusable, bad act

2-Foreigners are violent so beware

3 ( +5 / -2 )

From an outsider's perspective, I think that Japan's prominent sexual deviancy is another crack brought about by how pent up society is. Considering that Japanese society is keen on keeping everything spic and span, in good efficient order and avoiding causing trouble for one another, it does take its toll on anyone and cracks will eventually show. With sex being one of the well-known outlets to blow off some steam (pun intended), it's only apparent that the sex industry will not be able to cater to everybody's needs and wants.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is an unhealthy sexual attraction to young girls in Japanese men and the society supports it. These maid cafes with teenage girls running around with their bums hanging out, the gentlemen's clubs with young girls patronising men for money, the absolutely disgusting manga depicting sexual acts with children and, let's not forget these stupid 'idols' like AKB exploiting young girls. Then, add to this the up-skirt videographers, train gropers (chikan) and those really weird ones that steal and collect women's underwear and you start to see a pattern of a very twisted and immoral illness in Japanese men. It has been going on for generations and is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. It is only a few years ago that possession of child porn became illegal. And, let's not go into these creeps using the internet and dating sites to groom young girls and talk them into sending naked photos of themselves.

BUT! On the other side of the coin, there seems to be no shortage of young girls willing to give up their morals few a few bucks. Admittedly, many young girls are forced or coaxed into these immoral acts, but there are also many who participate willingly for the money. I often hear of teenage girls meeting middle-aged men in love hotels after being offered money.

Their is a very dirty and seedy underside to Japanese culture. Therefore, it should be no surprise the penalties for such acts are extremely lenient compared to other countries. For example, using the internet and/or social media to groom underage girls carries a mandatory sentence of 7-10 years in prison in Australia. In Japan, it's a 12 month probation (if that much).

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Part of the problem, the folks who are making the laws, and the others charged with enforcing them, often have far too many offenders within their own ranks. Don't want to toss their friends away for any length of time, because it would set a precedent when it cam to their turn!

Ok partially tongue in cheek and sarcastic, but there is a more than a kernel of truth to the fact that far too many are not educated to understand what constitutes a sex-offense, sure rape and other "violent" types are easy, but when it comes to the more less invasive types off harassment the lines get far too blurred.

Many have no problem copping a squeeze at their local snack or cabaret, so they dont think that to a stranger it's a big deal!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

“Do you think that Japan is too forgiving of sex offenders?” The vast majority, 86.5 percent, answered “Yes.

Agree on this but only after 23 days detention and forced confession is gone. Before that it’s easy to make someone innocent confess on crime they didn’t commit.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Definitely.

The public should also do their part by boycotting the work of known pedophiles to show their disgust. Seems like Japan is about the only country where known pedophiles and sexual offenders can continue to have successful careers.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

You don't say

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"extremely tough on crime?" , but not if you're a celebrity, or somebody who shows remorse, or a guy who kills and dismembers somebody.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

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