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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 18 - 24  > Bill to adversely revise Juvenile Law passed through Lower House
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2007 April 18 - 24 [POLITICS]

Bill to adversely revise Juvenile Law passed through Lower House

April 20, 2007
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on April 19 used their force of majority to get a bill to revise the Juvenile Law passed through the House of Representatives. The Japanese Communist, Democratic, Social Democratic, and People’s New parties voted against the bill.

This bill will lower the minimum age of minors that can be sent to reformatories from 14 years old to “about 12 years old” that could include the six graders in elementary schools. It also allows the police to conduct compulsory investigations into minors under 14 years old. Under the current law, such investigations are conducted by child consultation centers.

Concerning the Juvenile Law revision bill, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference in the Diet building on the same day made the following comments:

In dealing with delinquents under 14 years old, it is important to provide them with educational and welfare programs. Toughening penalties and strengthening police authority as ways to deal with them will pose grave risks of violating children’s human rights such as false accusations, and are very harmful to the resolution of juvenile crimes.

Allowing the police to investigate children under 14 who are not held criminally responsible is self-contradictory from the start. The JCP strongly protests against the LDP and Komei parties’ forcible approval of such a controversial bill without listening to public opinion and having thorough discussions on it.

The recent moves of the Abe Cabinet and the LDP-Komei government show their strong intention to turn Japan into a militaristic and authoritarian state. They rammed the constitutional revision procedure bill through the House of Representatives on the strong initiative of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo who is calling for a revision of Article 9. They pushed the bill to promote the realignment of U.S. forces through the Lower House with totally inadequate discussions. They also forcibly enacted the bill to adversely revise the Fundamental Law of Education and are now pushing bills to give shape to the revised law. And now, this bill to revise the Juvenile Law.

The JCP will carry out struggles to foil these moves both inside and outside the Diet. - Akahata, April 20, 2007
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