Japan's Revised Penal Code Goes into Force (News)
Tokyo, July 13 (Jiji Press)—Japan's revised Penal Code stipulating tighter penalties against sex offenses went into force Thursday.
Through the first major overhaul of sex crime-linked provisions since the code was established in 1907, the amended law now includes the crime of "forcible sex and similar acts," under which not only women but also men can be recognized as victims, instead of the crime of rape, which regarded only women as victims.
The minimum prison term for forcible sex is five years, up from three years for rape and the same as that for homicide. The shortest term for forcible sex resulting in injury and death is set at six years, against five years for injury- and death-causing rape.
The revised law will also allow public prosecutors to charge sex offenders with or without the filing of complaints by victims, which was necessary before the amendment.
The law newly includes penalties for sexual offenses without intimidation or violence against minors below 18 by their parents or other guardians.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]