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A Japanese government panel has proposed amending the juvenile law to put 18- and 19-year-old criminal suspects on trial as adults. Do you agree with this?

27 Comments
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an 18 or 19 year old is perfectly capable of being responsible for their own actions.

I graduated HS at 17. I went to the US by myself to live and study when I was 17. 18 and 19 year olds are not children.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Cognitive development is not the same in all children.

Experience and knowledge is limited in the young, I agree that 20 years should be the minimum for liability as an adult, under criminal law.

-26 ( +9 / -35 )

In a country with the death penalty? The only reason to do this is for sadists to put more people on death row. And to feed the fears of those who believe the thoroughly debunked canard that "youth crime is on the rise" (it has plummeted precipitously over the past several decades in Japan).

Otherwise, I'd say the cutoff between age of minority and agree of majority was arbitrary, whether 18, 20, 21, or whatever.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

http://asaa.asn.au/japans-youth-crime-wave-subsides-to-a-ripple/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Young people here are treated like children too long. They need the opportunity to mature and grow. Also, at 18, you definitely know the difference between right and wrong.

26 ( +31 / -5 )

Please Japan for not use your barbaric hostage justice on teenagers.

They won't stand a chance on your forced confession system.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

I believe 18 and older should be tried like adults because they know what they should and shouldn't do. The justice system also won't leave them in prison for the rest of their lives so I am for it. In the US, kids being tried as adults may never see the outside of a prison again.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

No , I don’t agree. There are other restrictions until 20/21 yrs. that are still active, for example consumption of alcohol. You simply cannot treat them as children and put them under the justice for adults at the same time. Look, they are children for a very long time, compared with any other countries. Watch them at TDL or so, if you don’t know what I mean.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Well no, this has to be a matter for the courts/judicial service, social welfare and numerous professionals/agencies. The Educational establishment will need to be involved. No one size fits all scenario here.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Yes. Since they are now considered adults and vote. They should also be allowed to drink and smoke.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

I voted yes, but when you consider that during the Coming of Age Day, a trip to Disneyland is on the agenda, I do wonder sometimes. In some ways, many Japanese never really grow up.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

There are some things that I could never understand in Japan. On one hand, teenagers are treated as adults as they go through highschool into university, but when it comes to criminals they aren't treated like adults.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

An 18-year-old who has been baby-sat since 4 is less likely to make intelligent decisions than an 18-year-old who has had to make decisions since he or she was 4.

Japanese ‘teenagers’ tend to be on the young side. They can vote but can’t drink alcohol. They can join the army, but they can’t sign contracts. The government needs to make up their mind. Are 18-year-olds Adults or Children?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

If you haven't learned right from wrong by the time you are 18, just go straight to jail after high school graduation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Making comparisons such as the legal drinking age or voting age leads nowhere. It’s not only about knowing right from wrong, it’s about impulse control too.. something a 19 year is much less capable of than a 35 year old.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Depending on the nature of the charges(crime), absolutely yes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It is good that the possibility is now open, but only as long as age is still a factor to show clemency for minor problems, we all need to be able to make some mistakes to be able to grow, I would hate for this to be the excuse for ruining the life of a kid for something stupid but without real victims.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Make them adults in every way, then try them as adults. If they are still minors in other parts of the law, then try them as minors. If you can’t buy a beer or enter into a contract then you are not an adult.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I know it's a silly example, but if a 19 year old, whose birthday is a month away commits murder let's say, and another who is twenty years one month commits the same crime, are you going to tell me that there is a huge difference in their maturity or "impulse control".

I think they both should be tried as adults, as they should be.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Depends on the crime.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

At 18 they can join the JSDF and be handed deadly weapons. If needed they can fight and kill to protect Japan. If their age is considered adult enough to make the choice to join and serve then there is no question. The country already treats them as adults and the domestic laws need to be brought into line.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Obviously common sense should also be used.

A 18 or 19 yesr old may be should not be totally liable for everything as they lack maturity, but they certainly should pay for their actions.

If they hurt others or do wrong knowingly, they should not be assumed to be a child.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In a country with the death penalty? The only reason to do this is for sadists to put more people on death row.

Well said.

They're still children at that age. Leave the law (in that respect) as it is.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is 18 in the UK, 17 in most of the States in America (where they are also still not allowed to buy alcohol) so why not 18 in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I say yes with caveats. Out side of violet crimes with weapons and premeditated crimes, if a 16-20 year old is tried, it's done under the juvenile system. After any conviction, any reoffending child is automatically tried as an adult no matter the severity of the crime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

18 year olds are considered legal adults in the USA and yet a 15 year old childern who were convicted of murder were on trial and setence to life in prison in the USA. Japan got it easy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I thought the government was trying to increase the birthrate...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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