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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 1 - 7  > Justice Ministry survey: Half of unindicted rape cases not recognized as forced or coerced rape
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2020 April 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Justice Ministry survey: Half of unindicted rape cases not recognized as forced or coerced rape

April 3, 2020

The Justice Ministry on March 31 released the results of its first-ever survey of unindicted rape cases, which found that in 2018 half of these cases were dropped because they were judged as not meeting a Penal Code requirement of “violence or threat of violence”.

A survey of this kind has been repeatedly called for by sexual violence victims and their supporters as well as by the Japanese Communist Party.

According to the survey, local public prosecutors’ offices in Japan in 2018 decided to not indict suspects in a total of 380 rape cases they received. In 191 of the 380 cases, the reason for nonindictment was that prosecutors concluded that the suspects did not resort to violence or threat of violence at least at a level enough to make it difficult for victims to resist.

Commenting on the survey results, JCP member of the House of Councilors Yamazoe Taku said that the Penal Code narrowly defines a rape as a crime of forcing someone to have sex with the use of “violence or threat of violence”. Noting that the survey shows that the definition does not reflect the true nature of sexual assault, Yamazoe stressed that the Penal Code should be revised so that all sex crimes will be penalized.

Past related articles:
> Gender equality and individual dignity added to JCP election platform [June 6, 2019]
> Sex crime victims demand that sex without consent be punished as crime [May 14, 2019]
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