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In major sex crime overhaul, Japan’s Justice Ministry proposed raising the age of consent from 13 to 16

A panel of the Japanese Justice Ministry suggested increasing the age of consent from 13 to 16 as part of a significant review of the country’s sex crime laws. The legislation will also broaden the definition of rape in an effort to make the grooming of kids illegal.

The action follows a string of rape convictions that were overturned in 2019 and caused outrage.

According to BBC, the ministry would also raise the reporting deadline for rape from 10 to 15.

According to the existing law, in order to be found guilty of rape, the victim must demonstrate that ‘violence and intimidation’ were employed during the attack and that there was no chance of escape.

The panel has not changed this wording but has added other factors including intoxication, drugging, being caught off guard and psychological control into the definition.

Ministry’s official Yusuke Asanuma said that the move isn’t made to make it easier or more challenging for the rape victims but that it should make verdicts ‘more consistent.’


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