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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 19 - 25  > Bill that hinders juvenile offenders from reentering society enacted
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2021 May 19 - 25 [POLITICS]

Bill that hinders juvenile offenders from reentering society enacted

May 22, 2021

A bill to revise the Juvenile Act mainly with the aim of toughening penalties for minors aged 18 and 19 was approved and enacted on May 21 at the House of Councilors plenary session by the majority vote of the Liberal Democratic and Komei parties. The Japanese Communist Party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and the Social Democratic Party voted against the bill.

JCP lawmaker Yamazoe Taku in discussion prior to the vote criticized the bill for entailing consequences which run counter to the law’s fundamental principle of fostering the sound development of juveniles.

Yamazoe said that there is no need to revise the current law in the first place, and pointed out that not only the number of juvenile arrests but also the number of heinous crimes committed by minors is on a downward trend. He went on to point out that in meetings of a Justice Ministry panel and in Diet discussion, former family court probation officers and other juvenile delinquency experts said that the Juvenile Act has functioned effectively since its establishment.

The JCP lawmaker also pointed out that if enacted, the bill will lift the ban on news reports that give descriptions of an accused juvenile and thus it will hinder minors aged 18 and 19 who commit crimes from reentering society. He said that what is needed is to improve the juvenile justice system by such means as increasing the number of family court probation officers.

Past related article:
> Revision of Juvenile Act will harm chances of young offenders’ rehabilitation [April 16, 2021]

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