Japan has been in the eye of the hurricane since the law of the Penal Code to consent for sexual intercourse is 13 years

In Japan, since 1907, the age of consent for sexual intercourse according to the Japanese Penal Code is 13 years old, one of the lowest in the region.

The Japanese youth group «Your Voice Matters» is seeking to change the official age of consent to protect young people in Japan.

 «Your Voice Matters» has said it wants to change the age because of the petition and experiences that have made them question not only the law, but also consent in a country where it is difficult to say «no» especially to women.

Understanding consent in Japan

The group plans to cover a number of changes, and this includes redefining the concept of rape, which, under Japanese law, is «forced sexual intercourse,» but with the reform would become «non-consensual sexual intercourse.»

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If a person is involved with a person under the age of 13, this activity is considered statutory rape, and if someone over the age of 13 is sexually assaulted, he or she is required to prove the existence of sufficient violence or threat.

It is confused on the difference between regional laws, which prohibits any sexual act with anyone under the age of 18, and the age of consent under Japan’s Penal Code.

That is, if a 30-year-old raped a 14-year-old girl, and she did not have «sufficient evidence,» he could get away with it under the Penal Law and will be punished for having sex with a minor, not for rape.

Fight for a change

The public has cheered for change, as in Japan only one-third of cases are recognized as rape and result in legal proceedings, and since 2019 more sexual assaults have been revealed, each resulting in the acquittal of the alleged attacker.

The law leads to the redefinition of rape, which explicitly states that «it is difficult for the victim, to form, express, or fulfill an intention not to consent.»

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Therefore, the age of consent will also be raised to 16, and the statute of limitations will be extended, although some movements have commented that there should be more protection for victims who are minors.