national

Japan weighs lifting age of consent from 13

83 Comments
By Tomohiro OSAKI

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2023 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

83 Comments
Login to comment

That’s gross! I am painfully aware of how backward the legal system in Japan is but I did realize this to be the case. It’s unthinkable that it continues to be set so low given the number of potentially dangerous adults out there that would pounce on the opportunity to abuse this. This is morally reprehensible and revealing, once again, how behind the times things are in Japan. Change it and give the children some additional protection from predators.

21 ( +36 / -15 )

Individuals of 13 are, by any civilized metrics, children - still in the process of developing mentally, emotionally, and physically. No reasonable person could argue that kids have the emotional or cognitive maturity to fully understand the consequences of their actions, and the idea that they are able to give informed and meaningful sexual consent is insane.

Not to mention the obvious increase in the risk of sexual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking, being so vulnerable to coercion and manipulation.

The fact that this is only being discussed - just discussed - in 2023 speaks volumes about the society we live in, and proves that, however controversial, some cultures are better than others.

-8 ( +25 / -33 )

Disgusting and immoral, that’s all I can say.

16 ( +28 / -12 )

the age of consent should be the same as when the person turns into adulthood

8 ( +20 / -12 )

Jay Today  06:44 am JST

> Individuals of 13 are, by any civilized metrics, children - still in the process of developing mentally, emotionally, and physically. No reasonable person could argue that kids have the emotional or cognitive maturity to fully understand the consequences of their actions, and the idea that they are able to give informed and meaningful sexual consent is insane.

Not to mention the obvious increase in the risk of sexual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking, being so vulnerable to coercion and manipulation.

inclined to agree Jay (and would add plenty of people well above that age....) so, interesting that some people in the U.S. (and possibly/probably elsewhere) are suggesting that kids of 13 or less, are capable of 'deciding' to take puberty blockers, changing gender, and all that....

0 ( +16 / -16 )

It should be based on puberty development, ie based on science rather than on a number. Age of consent should be after puberty ends and the person biologically becomes an adult. For girls that's usually around 14 and 16 for boys.

-21 ( +10 / -31 )

Ya reckon????

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Teen couples who are no more than five years apart in age would be exempt from prosecution if both partners are over 13.

So an 18-year-old could still have “consensual sex” with a 13-year-old. Or a 19-year-old with a 14-year-old. Not sure about the wisdom of that loophole.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

I thought even the national age is 13, each prefecture has its own age of consent. Maybe some prefectures adhere to the state but others make it up themselves.

13 is obviously way too young. Even in Scandinavia (which doesn't include Finland) where girls typically mature into young women significantly earlier, 13 is way too young. 16 seems right for girls if the partner is around the same age and 18 for everyone else.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Hard to believe there is even debate about this.

23 ( +29 / -6 )

Get on with it already!

14 ( +18 / -4 )

It’s about time Japan! Once again we see Japan being half a century behind the rest of the world. However, this change is only on the table. It still has to be passed by all the old men that grew up with this ridiculous rule.

-4 ( +21 / -25 )

16 is fine if there is a five year limit on the age gap.

when I went to school, if you were still virgin at 18 you were teased. Consent age was 16.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

@Anton and @Jay

Did you read beyond the headline?

Virtually every week, this media outlet presents a story about an older person (usually a man) being arrested for lewd acts with an under-18-year-old (usually a young woman), who has actually consented to the sexual activity in exchange for money.

So it’s a false narrative to imply that “consent” is being used by older adults to freely purchase sex from the nation’s youth.

As the article mentions, this proposal is simply about reclassifying the crime as “rape” instead of a “lewd act” to increase the penalty.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

A rape victim can be of any age. Rape is forced intercourse on any woman or man or child of any age.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

13?? This is a straightforward decision, folks!

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The age of consent was set at 13 because back in those days when the law was enacted people got married much younger than they do today. But things have changed and it should be raised to at least 16.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Whatever the change in the law, the problem remains that at 13 the human body says, "YES!", but the mind doesn't know or comprehend.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Ok, no. In Japan, their Coming of Age ceremony used to be 20 right? So why is the age of consent 13??? There is nothing to "weigh" here and the fact that it's taken until 2023 to discuss this very very grave mistake is grim and telling. Change it.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Another example of an old law that has remained untouched and does not reflect present day society. Needs to be changed like yesterday.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

MeiyouwentiToday  08:24 am JST

The age of consent was set at 13 because back in those days when the law was enacted people got married much younger than they do today. But things have changed and it should be raised to at least 16.

However in those days the only 13yo getting married were female and they certainly were not marrying other 13yo boys. They were mostly arranged marriages to already working husbands. So why wasn’t it considered lewd or criminal back then? Supposedly morals and culture were far stricter back then.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

About time, but actions speak louder than words, get on with it.

Axel, my thoughts also, the 5 year loophole isn’t justified.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Welcome to the nanny state!

Wanting to protect children - who cannot consent at that age - from being taken advantage of by adults is NOT a "Nanny State".

Creepy there are opponents of this planned change.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

What is there to weight up? Get it done.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

"Teen couples who are no more than five years apart in age would be exempt from prosecution if both partners are over 13"

Just a thought, but why not do the 5 years apart for all ages? Should a 34 year old be with a 63 year old? Some might consider that gross too.

-25 ( +2 / -27 )

What a shame, Any responsible parent who has kids knows the nightmare and full meaning and ramification of leaving this obsolete law as is.

Kids at any age and up to the age of 18 or even more depending on their environment don't stand a chance against and can be vulnerable to these well groomed, well trained, well spoken, pedophiles, and sex offenders.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

You’re talking about me. I was 52and my partner was 24. Today I am 62 and she is 34. But 24 is not 13. A 24 is mature enough to work out constant and whom with. But a promiss of a new I phone to 13 old that a difficult story.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

If it does become 16 as opposed to 18, schools need sex education classes and students need access to contraceptives

9 ( +9 / -0 )

consent from 13 never exist.

it was just a way to legalize pedophilia....

2 ( +12 / -10 )

John-san: But when you were 18, she wasn't even born. Doesn't that seem a bit cradle robbing?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

I try not to judge. I don't know your story. Nor do I know the 13 year olds.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Some has to say it…, do you want me to say it(?); ok, I’m gonna say it…; some Japanese lawmakers, at some point in their lives, were engaged in some… “activities”, and maybe those “activities” included having sex with much younger girls/women and / or they know someone who likes or has a preference for younger, much younger… females…; that’s why we’re in two thousand and twenty three and they’re still “discussing” about this no-brainer…, this attraction/fascination/admiration for young and/or cute girls is in Japan to stay… it’s everywhere, and when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere…, politicians, teachers, police officers, your next door neighbor…; it’s scary, ugly, creepy…; imho, we need to see some significant change in the way girls and women are portrayed in manga, anime, magazines, movies, dramas, etcetera.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

(edited)

Someone

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan's age of consent, the lowest among the G7 industrialized nations, has stayed unchanged since its enactment in 1907.

So before the Model T Ford was invented and the first commercial flight took place........

A Japanese justice ministry panel on Friday proposed raising the country's age of consent,

Why? What's the rush? Why not MULL over it for another century?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Did you know that it was impossible to get a phone without parents consent at aged 18. But when come physical contact with 13 ??? No Doubt this for benefits of those how are sicko enough to get involved with a 13 year old minor.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Whaaaat?? Here I was just the other day correcting Strangerland and others about the age of consent (he refused to admit he was wrong), and now there's an article about Japan FINALLY getting with the times. Or rather, forming panels to discuss thinking about it. They'll never do it, because then they would bankrupt magazines like Weekly Jump, which feature 13-year-olds in bikinis and sexual poses, or they might have to ban porn and soaplands that allow girls to wear junior high school outfits to please the pervs.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

About time too!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

LindsayToday  08:04 am JST

It’s about time Japan! Once again we see Japan being half a century behind the rest of the world. However, this change is only on the table. It still has to be passed by all the old men that grew up with this ridiculous rule.

I completely agree, but half a century? I don't know when the age of consent was changed for other countries, but the one in Japan is from 1907 - unchanged for nearly 120 years already!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Disturbing, the number of people showing displeasure at the possibility of the age being raised to something closer to adulthood. Very disturbing indeed. (Looking specifically at the downvotes to perfectly reasonable comments stating 13 is too young.)

0 ( +6 / -6 )

My, my, people here sure are being extremely judgmental about Japan and Japanese ways.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Tradition? Some of these pinstripes need to get with the international standard for kids. I know you gotta buy bullets and bombs, strike firsts etc to keep up. 100 years is circus time.

Keep screwing this up and good ol voters are gonna want their money back.

Then what?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Here are some uncomfortable facts...

Girls are reaching puberty younger and younger. A 15 year old is now more likely to be fertile than a 30 year old. The best age to have a healthy baby is between 19 and 20 so a few years ago technically still a child in Japan.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Disgusting and immoral, that’s all I can say.

exactly , so should forcing girls and women to give birth to pregnancies of rape and incest, yes there are many that refuse termination even in these cases

0 ( +8 / -8 )

My, my, people here sure are being extremely judgmental about Japan and Japanese ways.

so you think a 13yr old Jnr HS student is fine to consent on sex, this is currently the Japanese way.

dont know about you but if my 13yr old child daughter, consented to have sex with a 22yr old adult male.

id be enraged beyond belief

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Here I was just the other day correcting Strangerland and others about the age of consent (he refused to admit he was wrong),

Huh? I said it was illegal to sleep with those under 18, according to prefectural ordinances. And from this very article:

In practice, regional ordinances banning "lewd" acts with minors are sometimes seen as effectively raising the age of consent to 18 in many parts of Japan.

So what was I wrong about?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

so you think a 13yr old Jnr HS student is fine to consent on sex, this is currently the Japanese way.

No it's not. If you have sex with an under 18 year old you will be arrested in Japan.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

No it's not. If you have sex with an under 18 year old you will be arrested in Japan.

the age of consent is 13yrs old, so if a girl whos 13 consents to sex with an older male, thats fine under Japanese law. why do you think they want to change it.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I personally believe 13 is too young, and the age of consent should be raised to at least 16.

However for those taking this as another opportunity to bash Japan as usual, the age of consent today in the Phillipines and Angola is 12. In Germany, Italy and several other European nations it is 14. India is 18 now, but they started at age 10.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

dont know about you but if my 13yr old child daughter, consented to have sex with a 22yr old adult male.

id be enraged beyond belief

Because "consent" of another person has nothing to do with you and your opinion - that's why it's called consent.

Why do people think their own idea of morality should be a standard? Whatever you think is right, even if there are millions of you who think the same, it's still just your opinion. More importantly, it has nothing to do with another person's consent.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Teen couples who are no more than five years apart in age would be exempt from prosecution if both partners are over 13.

That is right.

A scientific opinion : a Japanese girl becomes a woman physically, ie becoming fertile, reaching end of puberty at 13.9 years, with 1 year standard deviation.

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/cpe1992/2/Supple1/2_Supple1_1/_pdf

Agr of consent should even rather be 15 for Japan then. But that would make it harsh for girls getting early puberty then at 13.

What everyone knows is that with puberty comes the will to have sex, no matter what you think. It is good for our species on Earth.

Personally, I wonder why sex is seen as so immoral as to restrict it since it is a natural activity after puberty. Only forced/cohersed/by surprise acts shall be illegal.

For those who have forgotten, I remind pedophilia is sex with girls/boys before puberty.

With education and access to health protection, it is a pity the association of sex and love is not lauded.

By anticipating the (long) future with developed countries having a collapse of their demography especially Japan, people will pray one day for everyone to have babies anytime. I hope so

Less than 50 million inhabitants for Japan is not an estimate for 2100 now, it is now a certainty, and without any change about sex in my opinion, will continue as statistics speak. There is no leveling to expect in the future with such mentality against sex and women treatment in Japan in general.

Old people holding power and streaming the wealth towards them forever, is that what people want ? So be it but I would not have contributed to that system for Japan.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I'd be willing to bet no women was ever consulted about this law, let alone the children it affects.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

What everyone knows is that with puberty comes the will to have sex

That conflict between morality and biology - what to do, eh? Whatever laws are in place, I don't imagine they will have much effect on horny 14-16 year olds.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

OssanAmericaToday  03:42 pm JST

I personally believe 13 is too young, and the age of consent should be raised to at least 16.

However for those taking this as another opportunity to bash Japan as usual, the age of consent today in the Phillipines and Angola is 12. In Germany, Italy and several other European nations it is 14. India is 18 now, but they started at age 10.

It isn't Japan bashing. You're just over sensitive about something that's clearly morally repugnant in today's age. Those who feel that 13yrs old is too young for age of consent would obviously feel that 12yrs or even 14yrs old is also too young. At least India changed their laws Japan hasn't yet.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I did not know this. I don't see any possible justification for putting the burden of responsibility on a 13 year old.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Let me join Team Thirteen Is Fine. Thirteen might be too young to handle a kid, but other than that, what are the complicated consequences of sex that is beyond a thirteen year old's comprehension?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Most girls over 18 are pressured into constant. And that a problem for 18 age girls. So make it 18 and if you place any pressure on that girl you should be charge with some sort often. Your not allow pressure them into loan or financial dealings so pressure for constant should be the same

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Oh wow, now we have commenters actually defending the idea that because a child has gone through puberty, they are capable of consenting to sex. Are you actually hearing yourselves right now? It doesn't matter how much more "fertile" you think a 13 year old is compared to a 30 year old - that's still a child. The fact that people are actually out here defending this, that we are actually discussing the fertility of children in the context of whether or not adults should be able to have sex with them...

Some people have lost their minds.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

SMDH (looking at…) the downvotes to certain comments…;

it’s ridiculous to hear people talk about fertility, say that Japan needs babies, teenagers are horny and if there’s consent then “everything’s fine”… (oh and “technically it’s not pedophilia”: that one is particularly disturbing);

we’re talking about children…, yes, as far as I’m concerned, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen year old girls are still kids…;

and

older boys and older men want to take advantage of these kids and exploit their naivety.

(these comment sections show that people can hide their true selves behind their keyboards)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They lowered the age of adulthood from 20 to 18. Though, you need to be 20 to drink alcohol. They should unify the system, and use the age of adulthood for alcohol/consent/driving license and everything else.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@AlexToday 07:01 pm JST

It doesn't matter how much more "fertile" you think a 13 year old is compared to a 30 year old - that's still a child.

Obviously, such commentators are just not feeling that instinctive, unthinking ick that somehow gets impregnated in Westerners on these issues. So you are just going to have to reason it out.

Where you see "child", I see "human". By law, humans are subjects that have civic capacity (that is, ability to have rights and duties) from birth. They are not objects of their guardians. It's generally assessed around Age 7-10, humans develop the ability to have a will - they not only want something (which even a cat can do), but a basic understanding that actions have consequences. After that point, their civic acts become merely voidable, not void ab initio.

11-12 is about when that ability develops well enough that they can understand not only the presence of consequences, but right or wrong, and at this point they can be held legally (though not criminally) liable. By 13, it can be deemed that this ability is safely ingrained in the majority of individuals.

Of course, even then, it is still deemed that they are deficient in calculating for far-off consequences, and are more emotionally vulnerable. For this reason, the age of theoretical criminal liability is 14, and legal acts remain voidable by parents until the age of majority. However, an act that is purely beneficial or of small consequence (such as using pocket money) is non-voidable.

Sex, thought simply, is analogical to an act that is purely beneficial and simple in its consequence tree. Two people get together for some quick pleasure. End. Babies are a duty, but they can be nearly completely avoided with a combination of contraceptives and morning-after pills. If you are worried about STDs, then you can criminalize for that, which I think should be in general rather than a Majority-Minority thing.

That's why the age setting of 13 is reasonable.

Every time you say a human can't consent, you are looking down on them. You are depriving them of their rights. You are saying their word is worthless. You are insulting them. Perhaps it is the side of the "ickers" who have to defend why 13 is not good enough, what advanced computations there are that exceed the capacity of a 13-year-old, that it is worthy denying their humanity, their right to choose on what's actually a fairly simple question.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

For sure 13 years is too low age. Even 16 years would be responsible? If a couple of 16 years old make sex and the girl got pregnant, will they be fully capable of raising a child? Both have not concluded studies, have not enough income. Start a sex life with an abortion seems to be traumatic. The lowest the age, the better for irresponsables and perverts .

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The human brain is not fully developed until around the age of 25. The age of 18 should at least be the age of consent. No lower.

And let’s be clear. Consent is not the single factor that determines whether a sex act is moral or immoral.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If you have sex with an under 18 year old you will be arrested in Japan.

the age of consent is 13yrs old, so if a girl whos 13 consents to sex with an older male, thats fine under Japanese law.

It's fine under that specific law. I hope that makes you feel better while you're sitting in jail for sleeping with someone under 18 for being arrested under the other laws that make it effectively 18.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

For those who think it minors should be able to consent, how low should the law be? 15? 12? 10? 8? No age?

I notice a LOT of people in these threads complain that they can't sleep with minors, but none of them are willing to state what age they think it should be ok...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I notice a LOT of people in these threads complain that they can't sleep with minors

I haven't read things that way. I think (hope) most of us will say it's wrong for an old man to have sex with a young girl. The argument that older people shouldn't prey on minors is fairly clear and understandable. But what about the minors themselves? My own memories of myself at the age of 14 or so was that sex was on my mind a lot. But I had no wish to explore sex with anyone more than a year or two older than myself - anyone older fell into the same age category as my grandmother.

Having an "age limit" affects kids as well as old perverts. I wouldn't say it was "wrong" for a 13-year old girl to have sex with a 14-year old boy. I have images of such kids, if caught, being sternly lectured by teachers or parents, but at the end of the lecture, being told, "But if you're going to do it, be sure to use a condom."

I can understand the "age gap" concept. I think it varies from 3 to 7 years across various countries. The 5-year gap mentioned in the article is perhaps reasonable.

And then there's the issue of how to define "consent". I said "yes" because: 1. I wanted to have sex; 2. I wanted my boyfriend to stop pawing me for the next few hours; 3. I wanted the expensive handbag he said he would give me. I doubt there's a clear way to define that in law.

But having said all that, perverts won't disappear and young kids' fantasies and sexual wishes won't go away. Keeping things more open and even joking about such things may be more effective than laws. Shimura Ken's pervert sketches were probably more effective than any laws on "what is right and wrong".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I haven't read things that way. I think (hope) most of us will say it's wrong for an old man to have sex with a young girl. The argument that older people shouldn't prey on minors is fairly clear and understandable. But what about the minors themselves? My own memories of myself at the age of 14 or so was that sex was on my mind a lot.

It was on most of our mind's a lot. But society has determined that due to their minds being not fully matured, they are unable to understand the full implications of consent, and therefore they legally put the onus 100% on the adult to be responsible and not sleep with the minor.

With that in mind, lets look at comments like this:

It should be based on puberty development, ie based on science rather than on a number. Age of consent should be after puberty ends and the person biologically becomes an adult. For girls that's usually around 14 and 16 for boys.

Or this one:

Girls are reaching puberty younger and younger. A 15 year old is now more likely to be fertile than a 30 year old. The best age to have a healthy baby is between 19 and 20 so a few years ago technically still a child in Japan.

Or this one:

Personally, I wonder why sex is seen as so immoral as to restrict it since it is a natural activity after puberty. Only forced/cohersed/by surprise acts shall be illegal.

All three of these comments are focused entirely on fertility, and their morality is tied directly to that. "If they are fertile, it should be legal". Notice how none of these considers the psyche of the mentally immature minor? Notice how the objectify the minor into a vessel of fertility, rather than a human being that needs to navigate a difficult world?

I tell you what, my 14 year old girl is still extremely naive in life (as she should be). She also is "fertile". She's very focused on cute guys and beauty right now. I don't see it as unrealistic that some 25 or 30 year old hot dude, could very easily take his life experience and use it to coerce my daughter into consent. And that guy should go to jail for that, because she does not have the life experience nor the maturity to understand the implications of what she would be getting into.

Anyone who has a problem with that is arguing with the status quo, and with science. The cherry-picking of a single scientific metric - fertility - does not cancel out the psychology of the action, and the absolute damage it can cause to minors that are still figuring out the world, while their brain is still developing.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki and others like him…

… trying to explain the inexplicable and excuse the inexcusable…; I’m gonna be honest, some of these posts made me laugh… but now I’m smh.

..

note:

reason, common sense and decency always win.

and

Strangerland, well said.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Like all change in law it needs to be thought out. 13 seems too low, but what should it be raised to? This needs consideration. 14, 15, 16? A 15-year-old and a 50-year-old seems wrong without a doubt but what about 15-year-old and a 16-year-old?

What it the age of consent now in the US? Is it set by state law or federal law? I ask this because I am thinking of Jerry Lee Lewis who shocked Britain when it was revealed he married a 13-year-old. It seems it has changed to 16 to 18 depending on state, but there are also what are called Romeo and Juliet laws that take into consideration of narrow differences of age.

The law does need consideration because not because it should be changed from 13 but for what it should be changed to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@StrangerlandToday 03:43 am JST

It was on most of our mind's a lot. But society has determined that due to their minds being not fully matured, they are unable to understand the full implications of consent, and therefore they legally put the onus 100% on the adult to be responsible and not sleep with the minor.

Here's the problem - we are not arguing why a criminal statute that currently exists should be respected. We are talking about altering a current statute to be more onerous, and that onerosity extends to the minor, since this law permanently reduces her (usually we dream "her" in these scenarios) ability and right to choose using the pretext of her protection.

Let's be a bit more concrete about these "full" implications. You can contraceptive and after-morning away babies pretty well these days. For STDs it's better to declare it is a crime for any person with STD to offer sex, regardless of the partner's age. Now that we've done away with these two, what are these "full" implications you are thinking about.

I don't see it as unrealistic that some 25 or 30 year old hot dude, could very easily take his life experience and use it to coerce my daughter into consent.

If we can agree someone was coerced into sex, that should rightly be criminalized, but that can be done w/o an age-specific restriction.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Split the difference and go to 14.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@strangerland & co

Your personal opinions and experiences mean nothing against science.

Bigotry will not solve this human issue.

I have 2 daughters of concerned age.

It was on most of our mind's a lot. But society has determined that due to their minds being not fully matured

Speak for yourself, my girls are mature and know life by learning at school and discussing with their parents.

The reality with your speech is that anyone any age can be considered immature psychologically while you were explained that it happens far before as for how body works.

Let speak women, not you or me, who started a sex life before 18 tell you that since they decided to have sex on theirbown free will, no one shall judge them.

I have never said girls right after puberty shall have sex nor girls shall sleep with old guys, nor I ever was in a position to have an experience with a teenager girl, or even wish so as far as I am concerned.

Law is usually made by wiser than us and based on studies, accept it.

And I explain that showing sex as something bad at the start of life while it is a natural good activity lead as one the causes to the dire demography Japan experiences, like many other countries by the way. If the majority wish this way, so be it but don't cry for what long term future consequences bring then.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If we can agree someone was coerced into sex, that should rightly be criminalized, but that can be done w/o an age-specific restriction.

Society disagrees with you. Society has decided that due to the logic centers of the brain not being fully developed until 25, minors are particularly susceptible to coercion by adults who do have developed logic centers of the brain. This is why society has decided minors are unable to provide consent to adults, even if they want to.

It most definitely SHOULD be an age-specific restriction, and society thinks so. You're the one trying to say that something other than the status quo should exist.

Until someone can tell me why we should allow minors to be open game to adults predators, you're not going to find me supporting anything less than 18 years old. And frankly, if you're over 24 or 25 and sleeping with 18 year olds, there is something wrong with you.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@strangerland & co

Your personal opinions and experiences mean nothing against science.

I've been speaking of the status quo, which is based on science.

Speak for yourself, my girls are mature and know life by learning at school and discussing with their parents.

Science has shown the logic centers of the brain are not fully developed until around age 25. Sorry mate, your opinion of your daughters does not change science.

The reality with your speech is that anyone any age can be considered immature psychologically

It's a scientific fact that minors are immature psychologically.

Let speak women, not you or me, who started a sex life before 18 tell you that since they decided to have sex on theirbown free will, no one shall judge them.

If it's with other kids of a similar age, I'm ok with that, as there is no power balance between someone with fully developed logic centers of the brain, and someone without. They are young people exploring life, with people of their own age. This is healthy. Adults with fully developed logic centers sleeping with minors on the other hand is criminal.

Law is usually made by wiser than us and based on studies, accept it.

The law in Japan is 18, as it is in many first-world countries. I'm ok with that. Those of you suggesting it should be lower are the ones who have a problem.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@StrangerlandToday 03:35 am JST

Society disagrees with you. Society has decided that due to the logic centers of the brain not being fully developed until 25, minors are particularly susceptible to coercion by adults who do have developed logic centers of the brain. This is why society has decided minors are unable to provide consent to adults, even if they want to.

American society, perhaps. Please remember you are writing in the context of an article concerning a Japanese proposal to raise the age of consent - it hasn't been actioned yet and thus is not yet "society".

On the merits, you are advocating a throw the baby out with the bathwater approach, assuming the worst of those oncoming humans with "developed logic centers". Besides, I've asked you specify those long term consequences. I don't see you even trying to do so.

Minors do have certain mental deficits relative to those with "developed logic centers", but they are not necessarily more susceptible to coercion. Teenagers, as opposed to kids younger than that, often have an instinctive repulsion to being bossed (coerced) around. Lacking the ability to think of long term or subtle disadvantages can actually make them less susceptible to coercion.

They can be more easily deceived, as can anyone with less life experience regardless of the development of logic centers, but that's a different category.

My general belief is that kids should be allowed to make as many decisions as possible - practice helps develop that logic center, while deciding everything for them causes it to atrophy. Since most of the studies advocating for higher ages before those logic centers are developed are made more recently using more recent samples, we may actually be recording the damage caused by over-paternalism.

The only time we should restrict it is if we can name concrete long-term, irrevocable damage that occurs with high probability. I can justify coercing my kid to study rather than play, since it is well known society has only allocated so many years for a person to focus on study, which corresponds roughly to when it is most receptive to same. Failure to exploit this will guarantee that his academic potential is underutilized, which he will find it hard to make up for later in life. And while people have succeeded with less than great education, taking the population as a whole, the odds still favor those with the best possible academic achievements.

As you can see, I can identify concrete reasons to take away my kids' discretion on this matter. Once you get past babies and STDs, can you do the same for the issue at hand?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This varies widely around the world. Plenty of countries where it is even lower than 13 (e.g. 12 in the Philippines next door). It is one of these issues where you have to draw a line for legal reasons, but of course every individual is different.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

American society, perhaps. Please remember you are writing in the context of an article concerning a Japanese proposal to raise the age of consent - it hasn't been actioned yet and thus is not yet "society".

You're wrong. Try sleeping with a girl under 18 in Japan, and see if your comment above keeps you out of trouble (hint: it won't).

Society here has, as a grass-roots movement by all prefectures, decided that sleeping with a minor is not allowed. Now they're shoring up the law.

On the merits, you are advocating a throw the baby out with the bathwater approach, assuming the worst of those oncoming humans with "developed logic centers". Besides, I've asked you specify those long term consequences. I don't see you even trying to do so.

No, we're protecting those with under developed logic centers. The adult may not even realize they are coercing the child. That's why it's been made into law.

My general belief is that kids should be allowed to make as many decisions as possible - practice helps develop that logic center, while deciding everything for them causes it to atrophy.

Well, if you try doing that with my kid, you'll end up in jail in Japan, where you should be. Society and science both say you're wrong on the above.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have a son - not a daughter - however - I believe if I had a daughter - I guess I would have to let her decide on the age of consent - and I guess if I had been a decent father - that age would have been appropriate for her...of course parents have fears for their kiddos...as they should do...be a loving parent - nurture your kiddos...they'll turn out all-right...I think when some young girl is taken advantage of...it's quite rarely some perv....it's more likely the industry of selling perv...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

if I had a daughter - I guess I would have to let her decide on the age of consent

Because teenagers make, wise, adult decisions using the developed logic centers of their brains, and their wide range of life experience, right? And they never do stupid things due to hormones, right?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I was 13 all I cared about was playing with my mates and our Action Man figures

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites