Penal Code (Act No. 45 of 1907)

The Penal Code (the “Code”) covers Japanese criminal law and sentencing.  The relevant provisions with respect to gender justice issues in the Code are Rape, Gang Rape, Forcible Indecency, and Inducement to Promiscuous Intercourse.  Rape was initially classified as a crime only involving female victims, but was amended to include men in 2017. The Code states that a person who commits one of more of the listed crimes shall be punished by imprisonment with work for life, or for a definite term corresponding to the gravity of a crime.  Further, based on the “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime” adopted by the United Nations, the Code was amended in 2005 to include the crime of Human Trafficking. Under the amendment, selling or purchasing a human is a crime, with the criminal punishment being more severe in cases with the purpose of profit, indecency or marriage.

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