Japan Diet Enacts Anti-Stalker Law Amendment

Politics

Tokyo, May 18 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, enacted on Tuesday a bill to amend the stalker regulation law.

The amendment, which adds collecting people's location information using GPS devices without their consent to the list of acts subject to regulation, was approved at a plenary meeting of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet. The bill cleared the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, in April. It was the third time for the law to be revised.

The revised law, to be put into full force in August, regulates the act of attaching GPS equipment to vehicles and other items without their owners' permission. Also banned is to obtain location information of people's smartphones through apps without their authorization.

Even if new cutting-edge location-tracking devices other than GPS are developed in the future and they are used in stalking cases, police will be able to tackle such incidents swiftly because the revamped law bans obtaining people's whereabouts using "devices," according to the National Police Agency.

The scope of places for stalking subject to regulation was expanded to newly include "current locations" of targets, on top of their homes, schools and workplaces, as stalkers in some past cases were able to identify real-time locations of their targets based on social media posts.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press