Representatives of civil groups urging reform of Japan's archaic sex crimes law hand Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda, left, a petition in Tokyo. Photo: Kyodo
crime

Japan moves toward first major rape law changes in a century

33 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Ami Miyazaki

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and allow prosecution when victims do not press charges.

About damn time!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Sounds like a very needed change. Good for those people who made it happen.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The revised law would also drop a requirement that sexual abuse by parents or guardians against minors under the age of 18 should involve "violence or intimidation" to be considered a crime.

I admit to having to read that twice. 2017, ladies and gits.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Better late than never.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I applaud the new law, and now I sincerely hope that the police are PROPERLY trained in how to collect evidence, keep it safe, and how to process (sorry lack of a better word here) any victims of rape.

Too many times I have heard or read stories where the police screwed up investigations because they blamed the victims, or in their ignorance, destroyed evidence by telling victims to go take a shower, cleanup, and come back later to give a statement.

The cops seriously need to take a look at and incorporate training methods and evidence gathering procedures from other agencies around the world and adapt them to their needs here!

Police rely too much on confessions.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Victims would no longer be required to press charges themselves in order for the offender to be prosecuted, and the minimum sentence would be raised to five years imprisonment from three.

And the top end is?

The revised law would also drop a requirement that sexual abuse by parents or guardians against minors under the age of 18 should involve "violence or intimidation" to be considered a crime.

I would suggest that ANY sexual predator of a minor automatically invokes intimidation and violence, rape itself is a violent act, and it's about time that the law changes to reflect the obvious.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good news. 1907? About time.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Yubaru

I would suggest that ANY sexual predator of a minor automatically invokes intimidation and violence, rape itself is a violent act, and it's about time that the law changes to reflect the obvious.

No, they don't, which is why they needed to drop the requirement. We are not talking just about rape here, but the smaller acts that a minor can't yet judge as wrong, but still need to be punished.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would suggest that ANY sexual predator of a minor automatically invokes intimidation and violence, rape itself is a violent act, and it's about time that the law changes to reflect the obvious.

My exact thoughts too. How can anyone consider rape to be a non-violent crime?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

You can change the laws, but if police won't investigate, nothing will change. http://www.thedailybeast.com/does-japan-ever-convict-men-for-rape?yptr=yahoo

1 ( +5 / -4 )

the minimum sentence would be raised to five years imprisonment from three.

Five years is still unthinkably low minimum.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Very good news, hopefully this will trigger a massive uptick in reported rapes to empower victims who have been silent all this time to speak out and seek justice

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The argument by the advocates is just misleading.

The proposed revisions would broaden the definition of rape, now limited to vaginal penetration by a penis, to a more inclusive "forced sexual intercourse" that includes forced anal and oral sex, thereby also recognising males as possible victims.

Currently, forced anal or oral sex is prosecuted as sexual abuse. The law change just changes the name, but does not change the substance.

Victims would no longer be required to press charges themselves in order for the offender to be prosecuted, and the minimum sentence would be raised to five years imprisonment from three.

No. Currently, victims need to report the complaint to the prosecutor by themselves or though their lawyers, and the prosecutor press charges against the offender. The question after the law change is how the prosecutors can mysteriously prosecute the offender without the victims' reporting.

The revised law would also drop a requirement that sexual abuse by parents or guardians against minors under the age of 18 should involve "violence or intimidation" to be considered a crime.

Utter misinformation. We live in the age of fake news.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

[Victims would no longer be required to press charges themselves in order for the offender to be prosecuted, and the minimum sentence would be raised to five years imprisonment from three.

The revised law would also drop a requirement that sexual abuse by parents or guardians against minors under the age of 18 should involve "violence or intimidation" to be considered a crime.]

My question is, if the supposed victim does not have to press charges, who can? I can see foul parents setting a person up just to keep them away from their son or daughter, if the supposed victim refuses to press charges themselves or blatant false charges. Same with a person's friend not liking who that person is dating.

Good to raise the sentence higher also, although how high I am not sure. Life in prison should not occur. Of course other factors could make the sentence longer as well. Maybe a black list after serving their time in certain circumstances.

Anything sexual with a minor should be a crime. My biggest gripe with Japan was (as of a few years ago) that it was legal to own porn with minors in it. I am not saying everyone had it, but to even allow for it was horrible. I am glad that law has changed recently as well.

And as far as the police is concerned, a lot of people in general know about not taking a shower or bathing/washing after an incident, that every second is critical for evidence. It is seen in movies, taught in school, etc., at least in the US anyway.

It is very hard to believe the goverment or those sworn to protect would not know. But perhaps better then to think the government or police purposely damage evidence and stop prosecutions to defend the perpetrators...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@CH3CHO 

Currently, forced anal or oral sex is prosecuted as sexual abuse. The law change just changes the name, but does not change the substance.

Which is exactly what the article says. What is your point? By changing the definition of rape, they can now apply harsher penalties.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

John Brown Today  12:04 pm JST

My question is, if the supposed victim does not have to press charges, who can? I can see foul parents setting a person up just to keep them away from their son or daughter, if the supposed victim refuses to press charges themselves or blatant false charges.

This is really only a problem for people who are parents, have sexually abused their children, and are in a marriage where their spouse wants a separation but for reasons other than the sexual abuse.

In other words, I don't see it being much of a problem.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

110 years.... talk about a snail's pace. But, at least it is SLOWLY changing. Now, the question is, will it be enforced. I think it's going to take time to see the wheels start moving, but I hope it takes effect face, and is put to use.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

CENTURY OLD!?!?!?!??!? speechless.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

therougou Today 12:12 pm JST

By changing the definition of rape, they can now apply harsher penalties.

The sentencing guide line does not change.

Currently, the punishment for a forced anal sex is, by law, not shorter than 6 months and not longer than 10 years, but in practice 5 to 10 years.

After the law change, the punishment is, by law, 5 years to 20 years, but in practice 5 to 10 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

katsu78 Today 12:27 pm JST

This is really only a problem for people who are parents, have sexually abused their children,

The prosecution of alleged rape charges without or against her will involves a lot of problem. That means the police and the prosecutors can arrest the alleged rapist even if she testifies that the intercourse was consensual.

Currently, if the rape victim is injured or somehow damaged, the prosecutors can press charges without her complaint. Also, if the alleged rape involves more than 2 persons, they can press charges without her complaint. So, the proposed law-change only affects cases where the victim is not injured, the intercourse takes place in the privacy of the two and she does not want to file complaint. I only see problems. The police will be peeping into your bedroom soon.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

[This is really only a problem for people who are parents, have sexually abused their children, and are in a marriage where their spouse wants a separation but for reasons other than the sexual abuse.

In other words, I don't see it being much of a problem.]

I have no idea where you were going with this. That had nothing to do with what I was referring to. If anyone can press charges, even basically because they do not like you due to your religion, social status, wealth, etc., they can do a false accusation just to keep you out of the family as it were. Then you have a record and that stays with you for the rest of your life. Even if not convicted you still have that trauma hanging over you. Some people are just horrid and will do anything that suits their fancy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lets hope the new laws don't lead to "False Rape" claims like they are in the West, I don't deny that laws needing change BUT we don't want to see "False Rape" claims placed against someone because the victim regretted the encounter

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ive just been reading the follow on comments below the main new item, Its nice to see the a high volume of + and there is hardly any - which says that most people here are glad to see that its a good thing that they have/want brought about this new change in the law. I do know of some one who as a young boy was sexually assaulted in the care home he was in, most people think that it is only woman that get rapped, this is not true, there are quite a few men that get rapped, so altering the bill to include and cover protection for men is a good thing to.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

About time. ABOUT time. Yet, considering what the law attends to, and the fact that rape has been treated as such a ‘low level’ crime in Japan for far too long, it seems somewhat odd that so many people are smiling in that photo. Plus, is there any protection in the law for men who are victims of rape?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

CH3CHO Today  01:39 pm JST

The prosecution of alleged rape charges without or against her will involves a lot of problem. That means the police and the prosecutors can arrest the alleged rapist even if she testifies that the intercourse was consensual.

There is no such thing as "consensual" intercourse with a minor, that's the whole point of giving legal standing to minor status - they aren't mentally or emotionally prepared to make that kind of decision.

So again, the solution is easy: don't have sex with kids. Why is this a worry?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

katsu78 Today 04:14 pm JST

There is no such thing as "consensual" intercourse with a minor,

So, you are against love between a high school boy and a high school girl. Criminalizing sex between teenagers will just make things worse for them. If both the girl and the boy agree, why not let them?

Anyway, the proposed law change is nothing about the age of consent. It is about prosecuting a man with no complaint by the woman regardless of her age.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Prison sentencing is still too light in this new update.

It agould be at least a decade or two.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing will change because vitims refuse to report it to police or tell friends. The victims just blame themselves and get on with life. What girl wants their school/work/family to know they got raped ?

Japanese are shy people, they shy away from drama.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

CH3CHO Today  05:51 pm JST

Anyway, the proposed law change is nothing about the age of consent. It is about prosecuting a man with no complaint by the woman regardless of her age.

My post was in response to John Brown, complaining about the ability of parents to prosecute on behalf of their kids. I assumed you were aware of the train of thought in question and not just jumping into to reply to words without being interested in their meaning. My apologies if that assumption was in error.

So let's take your argument that doesn't fit the train of thought I was responding to anyway. First of all, it kind of gives away your agenda when the new changes to this law make it truly sex-equal but you frame your criticism exclusively in terms of the mean old women luring guys to destruction in their lady parts. Secondly however, just how do you think the law works here? Yeah, trials have a 90% conviction rate but the thing is that most accusations don't go to trial - Japanese prosecutors are notorious for giving up on cases that aren't a slam dunk. That's why they depend so excessively on confessions.

So let's suppose in your nightmare scenario someone with a grudge against a man just decides to prosecute him on behalf of a woman he had consensual sex with. If it truly was consensual, it would be no trouble at all for the defense to just call that woman to witness and say it was consensual. Even if they don't call her, despite what you may hear on redpiller forums, men don't get found guilty of rape on zero evidence.

So there really is very little to be concerned about here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds good - Women here in Japan need more rights, though I wonder if it also covers the definition of consensual Sexual intercourse, and if it is purely limited to Male raping Female ? Also does it also consider past situations, can someone now be accused of Rape for something that may have happened over 5, 10, 20+ years ago ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Against minors was addressed, but we need to look at the other end of the spectrum too. At some point, we lose the mental capacity to consent. This can occur at age 85 or 27, depending on mental illness. Should not every sxual encounter they have, whether they wanted it or not, be dealt with the same way as we deal with minors?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some much-needed, overdue changes to the laws defining rape.

However, in order to change attitudes about rape among Japanese men, the government also needs to make it illegal to make any adult videos with simulated rape or a rape theme.

Rape is not entertainment and the girls don't like it. That's how to educate people from a young age.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

katsu78 June 9 08:06 pm JST

My post was in response to John Brown,

OK. Here is his response to your comment.

John Brown June 9 02:11 pm JST

I have no idea where you were going with this. That had nothing to do with what I was referring to.

katsu78, you said, "There is no such thing as "consensual" intercourse with a minor", which is totally irrelevant to the proposed law change. In Japan, the age of consent is 13, and it will not change in the proposed bill.

katsu78 June 9 08:06 pm JST

you frame your criticism exclusively in terms of the mean old women luring guys to destruction

It is also irrelevant to the proposed law change. Such a woman would have no trouble filing a complaint. Waiving the victim's complaint as proposed in the bill would not change the situation you mentioned.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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