Japan expands the definition of rape and raises the age of consent to 16 from 13

Japan’s parliament has passed legislation redefining rape and raising the age of consent from 13 to 16.

Driving the news: The changes come after four years of protests called the Flower Demo, focused on sexual violence and acquittals in rape cases.
* Rape is now defined as nonconsensual sexual intercourse, removing the provisions regarding use of force.
* The law recognizes nonconsensual acts such as assaults under the influence of alcohol, drugs, fear, or intimidation.

By the numbers: One in 14 women in Japan have been raped or sexually assaulted, but less than half of survivors report the crime, according to a 2021 survey from the Gender Equality Bureau.

More work needed: Advocacy group Spring says the statute of limitations should be extended even longer to rectify Japan’s history of dismissing victims.
* The country also passed legislation against “upskirting,” which can now be punishable by up to three years in prison.

Limits remain: Sexual intercourse with a child between 13 and 15 is only considered a crime if the partner is five or more years older.

View original article on NPR

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