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Japan raises age of consent from 13 to 16

62 Comments
By Natsuko Fukue

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62 Comments
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Great news!!..

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Under the new law, teen couples no more than five years apart in age will be exempt from prosecution if both partners are over 13.

So youths can still consent in the following cases:

18-year-old with anyone aged 13 or older 

19-year-old with anyone aged 14 or older

20-year-old with anyone aged 15 or older

My guess is that legislators did not feel comfortable outlawing youthful sexual exploration. But a five-year age gap seems rather excessive.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

One wonders how these legislators would react if they were to discover their own 16 year old son or daughter having a sexual relationship of some kind? Would they still support setting the age of consent at 16 or maybe something higher? Just asking ..................

2 ( +12 / -10 )

@Desert Tortoise, that's the point of democracy; laws are not created by one person based on their own feelings/experience.

Your statement basically translates to "Let's have a dictatorship, that'd be cool"

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

"a big step forward".

It's only a big step forward if they back it up with stiff penalties, especially for the rock spiders grooming kids on social media.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I am in favor of all laws and regulations that take in consideration the biological maturity of a brain to consent or not consent with sex, or related acts. But I sincerely do not understand how laws and regulations could possibly harness, limit, or impair a ¨twisted¨ manifestation of the instinct of reproduction. Lawmakers should understand that we are basically animals in spite of our brain capabilities, and make laws and regulations in view of this fact.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Underage sex was covered by other laws but it's right to update the age of consent.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Not every one matures at the same age.

So the age of consent cannot be the same for every one, can it?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Settle on eighteen.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Still needs to be improved, men still can't be raped under these laws.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

@Desert Tortoise, that's the point of democracy; laws are not created by one person based on their own feelings/experience.

Settle on eighteen.

There is your answer. Once you are a legal adult you can make those decisions. Before that you are the responsibility of your parents. If you are going to risk bringing spawn into the world that could end up being your parents problem then your parents ought to have a say in your breeding activity.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Once again Japan has failed to protect it's own children from the Porno Recruiters, Pimps, and sex Traffickers The legal age of consent for sexual activity or engaging in sexual activities with an individual under the age of 18 is deemed illegal and constitutes statutory rape.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Just ask the victims of Rape, or sexual assault what if feels like to be Manipulated then assaulted by a Sexual Predator at age 13,14,15,16,17,18, or even 19, then watch him or her walk FREE protected by laws like this.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by the age eighteen.”.... Einstein

Eighteen is also the age of discovery.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Woke up to good news for a change.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If you are going to risk bringing spawn into the world that could end up being your parents problem then your parents ought to have a say in your breeding activity.

You would say that to your 16 year old daughter? That would work out well. By the time kids are 16, they are making their own decisions in many areas. If you do your job as a parent, they will make wise decisions. At 16, it's far too late to be issuing dictates on such personal matters with a daughter. She would either be insulted and hurt by such a comment, or she would ignore it.

Likewise, not everything you dislike should be a matter for the police and the courts, least of all your daughter's personal life.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

It is a law long overdue. Teach your children about safe sex.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Please read .....

II. ARTICLE 1 (Definition of the child)

B. Age limitation applied to legal competency in Japan

https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/human/child/report2/definition.html

63. The Civil Code of Japan provides that anyone who has attained the age of 20 may conduct juristic acts independently. All contracts on medical treatment or surgery entered into by a person under 20 years of age without the consent of his/her legal representative may be canceled by the legal representative, though such medical contract remains effective if not canceled by the legal representative.

Also here..

With respect to a person under 18 full years of age, the Labor Standards Law provides for restrictions on working hours and work on rest days, prohibition of night work in principle, and restrictions on engaging in dangerous and harmful jobs. In addition, the same Law provides that children, for whom March 31 (the end of school year) has not passed since they reached the age of 15, shall not be employed as workers. However, children above 13 full years of age may, as an exception, be employed in occupations in non-industrial enterprises to perform light labor which is not injurious to the health and welfare of the children, with the permission of the administrative office. Children under 13 full years of age may be exceptionally employed in motion picture production and theatrical performance enterprises with the permission of the administrative office.*

The provisions in the Labor Standard Law also apply to part-time employment.

Now, I am suggesting this age across the entire spectrum be revised to eighteen.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

13?! Just, wow.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

In practice however, across many parts of the country regional ordinances banning "lewd" acts with minors were sometimes seen as effectively raising the age of consent to 18.

As stated in the article, this move is just an arbitrary change of an outdated law from a time when increasing the draft available population was priority.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

OMG, who would have known? Welcome to the 20th century Japan. The rest of us are in the 21st century.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The age of consent in some German places is 14. In France 16. Sweden 15. Italy 14.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The age of consent, is notional to the age of competency, also age of majority in Japan is 18 the basis for one's adulthood

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan raises age of consent from 13 to 16

So what do they want, a cookie?

If they were the first country to do so, applause. A very progressive move.

But…….since they are one of, if not, THE last country to do so. It’s more pathetic than anything.

Welcome to the 21st century, Japan. It only took you 23 years to do so.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Sorry to harp on, as an employer, the civil code procedurally is necessary to formulate constitutional amendments that resulted in lowering the voting age from 20 to 18.

It make sense to consider this fact in deciding the age of consent.

Eighteen

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Although it is a good start to some sort of reform, but one thing that we've all been mentioning is a sex offenders register, nothing has been mentioned about introducing one, why?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Better late than never though personally, the age should have been raised to 18. The punishments listed seem too lenient though - you want to deter would be sexual predators? Impose strict and harsh consequences. A sex offenders registry will also help.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Welcome to the modern age! It's 2023, not 1963.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Desert Tortoise, that's the point of democracy; laws are not created by one person based on their own feelings/experience.

Your statement basically translates to "Let's have a dictatorship, that'd be cool"

You’re an idiot.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Asiaman7Today  07:22 am JST

Under the new law, teen couples no more than five years apart in age will be exempt from prosecution if both partners are over 13.

So youths can still consent in the following cases:

18-year-old with anyone aged 13 or older 

19-year-old with anyone aged 14 or older

20-year-old with anyone aged 15 or older

My guess is that legislators did not feel comfortable outlawing youthful sexual exploration. But a five-year age gap seems rather excessive.

Why? There is a 5 year age gap between me and my wife. Whats the difference? And many happy & successful marriages met in early to mid teen years.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

In reality we all mature at different pace, and the process is a constant one, no is completely innocent the night before adulthood. And I certainly hope no one is waiting to consent at the strike of dawn to abide by the letter of the law.

In the end nothing much has changed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Under the new law, teen couples no more than five years apart in age will be exempt from prosecution if both partners are over 13.

5 year is too big a gap 2 or 3 is more appropriate!

An 18 year old and 13 is too much!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Antiquesaving

Today 01:04 pm JST

Under the new law, teen couples no more than five years apart in age will be exempt from prosecution if both partners are over 13.

> 5 year is too big a gap 2 or 3 is more appropriate!

> An 18 year old and 13 is too much!

> -2( +0 / -2 )

Wow -2!

Could you please indetify so we know who we should keep away from young children!

If you think a 19 year old should be having sex with a 14 year old, get help!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Why is the penalty for coercing children under 16 into sex less than voyeuristic photos?

I’m obviously against both, but the penalty seems backwards.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why? There is a 5 year age gap between me and my wife. Whats the difference? And many happy & successful marriages met in early to mid teen years.

Were you having sex with her when she was 13?

There is a larger gap between my wife and I but we were both well over 30 by that time!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Nibek32

Today 01:45 pm JST

Why is the penalty for coercing children under 16 into sex less than voyeuristic photos?

> I’m obviously against both, but the penalty seems backwards

Penalties should be extremely severe in both cases.

I can only guess that one generally involves multiple victims and the other usually a single victim but even that doesn't make much sense

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What ol' Jack Burton always says

   The age of consent in some German places is 14. In France 16. Sweden 15. Italy 14.

> But Wallace is what constitutes consent the same in those countries comparing ?

> what about the penalties ?

Why don't you go and look, easy enough.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Still needs to be improved, men still can't be raped under these laws.

Where does the law specifically state females only? Your assumption is wrong.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is good

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Canada's age of consent

The age of consent to sexual activity is 16 years. In some cases, the age of consent is higher (for example, when there is a relationship of trust, authority or dependency). In other words, a person must be at least 16 years old to be able to legally agree to sexual activity.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There is the law and the rest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the US an adult can have a consensual relationship with a 17 year old,but he can be charged with a felony,if they take photos of the 17 year old nude or can be charged under the Mann Act if he transport the 17 year old across state lines Google The Mann Act

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yrral. The article is not about the USA. How is the Mann Act relevant?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

 know they aren't before i commented

> Hence the question directed at you Wallace

> Comparing apples to oranges is ridiculous.

> That's why its advisable to research before posting a comment

The age of sexual consent in Europe is from 14 years to 18 years.

Age of sexual activity with an adult

http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2017/mapping-minimum-age-requirements/consent-sexual-activity-adult

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Great news! Hopefully, the age of consent will be raised again in the near future. Groomers groom, and the government and the public need as many tools as possible to stop the sexualization of minors.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"But Natsuki Sunaga, a 22-year-old student, said she was skeptical that the reforms would stop people secretly filming others."

Of COURSE it won't! You don't hear the perves with shoe cameras or putting cameras in junior high toilets saying, "Well, I thought she was of the age of consent!" do you? "Secretly filming" others is pretty much always a crime anyway, and changing the age of consent isn't going to change that at all.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think the priorities are still off when the penalties are harsher for voyeurism than for rape.

It means that people who use intimidation, seduction or money to coerce children under 16 to meet for sexual purposes will face a prison sentence of up to a year or a fine of 500,000 yen ($3,500).

A penalty of up to three years' imprisonment or a fine of up to three million yen will be imposed for secretly filming private body parts, underwear or indecent acts without a justifiable reason.

But Natsuki Sunaga, a 22-year-old student, said she was skeptical that the reforms would stop people secretly filming others.

Natsuki, be skeptical that the reforms will protect people from rape, let alone secretly or openly filming others.

Still, an incremental move to protect people and regulate moral behaviour.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I was in my teens, in the late 60s and early 70s, neither boys nor girls really 'worried' about what they now call 'consent'. When it came to sex, it was simple. If one said 'no', they meant it. If there wasn't a 'no', it was a fun learning experience. We certainly didn't worry about what the lawmakers called it, being 'protected' or having our moral behaviour regulated. The only thing we were worried about was STDs. Of course, it's different today, but the difference, I think, is almost entirely a result of the Internet's basic lawlessness when it comes to porn and the advance of disrespectful behaviour, which sadly includes a lot of the commentary on media like JT.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Under the new law, teen couples no more than five years apart in age will be exempt from prosecution if both partners are over 13.

Umm, wouldn't the 5-year apart exemption for 13 year olds be 13+5 = 18? Or is there an exemption to the exemption.

Things would get awkward a year or two later though, when one partner is 20 and the other is 15.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An 18 year old and 13 is too much!

Too much of what? If both consent, I don't think much harm will be done. Regrets perhaps, but I'm sure we all have a history of those.

For teenagers, hormones will usually override laws. (For us oldies, most of us probably wonder where those hormones went.)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Things would get awkward a year or two later though, when one partner is 20 and the other is 15.

Yes they have to stop or one can be charged.

Good point

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While many criticize Japan for not doing enough, the UN and the WHO are pushing to decriminalize sex with minors.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There seems to be a trend among developed countries to raise the age of consent. I remember, while studying military law, that it was not so long ago when the military over here considered 14 to be the age at which consent could be given. And, I remember meeting a family that had moved here from Louisiana, who would have been happy to marry off their 14 year old daughter.

Things are changing, but not at the same speed, in all places.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brian Wheway

June 17 10:38 am JST

Although it is a good start to some sort of reform, but one thing that we've all been mentioning is a sex offenders register, nothing has been mentioned about introducing one, why?

This would probably be hard as it would affect sentencing beyond limits. If they try to bypass it and say it's not part of the sentence, then it could be construed as unconstitutional.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Itsonlyrockandroll:

Children under 13 full years of age may be exceptionally employed in motion picture production and theatrical performance enterprises with the permission of the administrative office.*

The provisions in the Labor Standard Law also apply to part-time employment.

> Now, I am suggesting this age across the entire spectrum be revised to eighteen.

So you think a show about elementary school would be accurately portrayed by adult actors playing 7 year olds? Confused. Or it could be sarcasm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1glenn

Today 03:32 pm JST

There seems to be a trend among developed countries to raise the age of consent

In a few decades or so, when the average lifespan raises to 100, the age of consent will probably rise to 25. And anyone who considers that too high will be reviled as a social deviant.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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