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Japan raises the age of sexual consent to 16 from 13, which was among the many world’s lowest

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TOKYO — Japan’s parliament on Friday raised the age of sexual consent to 16 from 13, a restrict which had remained unchanged for greater than a century and was among the many world’s lowest, amid requires better safety of kids and ladies.

The revision was a part of a revamping of legal guidelines associated to intercourse crimes. Individually, Parliament handed a brand new legislation on Friday to extend consciousness of LGBTQ+ points which activists criticized for not guaranteeing equal rights for sexual minorities.

Reforms offering better safety for victims of sexual crimes and stricter punishment of assailants have come slowly in a rustic the place the legislative and judicial branches have lengthy been dominated by males.

Japan in 2017 revised its prison code on sexual crimes for the primary time in 110 years. A collection of acquittals in {cases} of sexual abuse and rising cases of sexual photos taken of women and girls with out their consent have triggered public outrage, prompting the brand new revisions.

The modifications enacted Friday make sexual activity with somebody beneath age 16 thought-about rape. They specify eight situations of “consentless intercourse crimes,” a brand new time period for compelled sexual activity, together with being assaulted inebriated or medicine, worry, or intimidation.

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Additionally they ban the filming, distribution and possession of sexually exploitative photos taken with out consent.

The statute of limitations for intercourse crimes was additionally prolonged by 5 years, to 10 years for consentless sexual activity. That crime is now topic to as much as 15 years in jail, whereas “picture voyeurism” might be punished by as much as three years’ imprisonment.

The modifications have been sparked partly by a case in Nagoya wherein a father who raped his 19-year-old daughter was acquitted by a court docket which dominated that whereas the daughter didn’t give her consent, she didn’t resist violently. The choice prompted nationwide protests.

Activists mentioned the brand new LGBTQ+ legislation threatens them as a substitute of selling equality due to last-minute modifications which apparently catered to opponents of transgender rights.

Japan is the one member of the Group of Seven main industrialized nations which doesn’t have LGTBQ+ authorized protections. Help for same-sex marriage and different rights has grown among the many Japanese public, however opposition stays robust inside the governing Liberal Democratic Occasion, identified for conservative values and a reluctance to advertise gender equality and sexual range.

The ultimate model of the legislation states that “unjust discrimination” is unacceptable however doesn’t clearly ban discrimination.

It says that situations needs to be created in order that “all residents can reside with peace of thoughts,” which activists say reveals the governing get together prioritized the considerations of opponents of equal rights over the rights of sexual minorities.

“The legislation doesn’t take a look at us or our ordeals, and as a substitute seems to the route of these inflicting us ache,” mentioned Minori Tokieda, a transgender girl. “I am deeply involved about how the legislation treats us as if our presence threatens the folks’s sense of security.”



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