June 8, 2017
TOKYO- The House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, approved on Thursday a bill to revise the Penal Code to impose tougher penalties for sex crimes.
The bill, which won unanimous approval at a plenary session, calls for changing the definition of the crime of rape so that men, in addition to women, can be recognized as victims.
The name of the crime in the code will also be changed from "gokan" to a name meaning forcible sexual intercourse. The old name will disappear from the Penal Code for the first time since the code was established in 1907.
The crime of forcible sexual intercourse will cover some criminal acts currently categorized as forcible indecency. The minimum prison term for the crime will rise from three years to five years, the same as the minimum term for murder. (Jiji Press)
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