Help us to change Japanese law to enable the punishment on the basis of unconsented sex

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Change Japanese Sex Crime Law 刑法の性犯罪の処罰の基準を変えたい!
Change Japanese Sex Crime Law 刑法の性犯…さんが賛同しました

Our request 
We would like to request a change in Japanese criminal law to enable the punishment on the basis of non-consented sexual intercourse as in the UK and other countries. Concretely removing “through assault or intimidation” from Article 177 and enabling punishment on the basis of non-consented sexual intercourse.

Getting the signatures and support from outside of Japan would be very helpful in order to pressure Japan into changing their laws since Japan has a tendency to remain passive unless put under external pressure - especially from abroad. 

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Petition Background
On 8th of April 2019, a father with a history of sexually abusing his daughter was found not guilty of “quasi-forcible intercourse” after a judge ruled the girl may have been able to resist his assaults, even though Presiding Judge Hiromitsu Ukai acknowledged that the victim, who was 19 when the incidents took place, “had sexual intercourse against her will and that she was in a state of being deprived of intention and the will to resist the attack.” (Newspaper article)

According to a survey in 2014 by the Japanese government, one in 15 women reported being raped in their lifetime, but 67.5% of the rape victims did not tell about it to anyone and only 4.3 % of rape victims report rape to the police in Japan and it seems and it is extremely difficult to punish rapists in Japan.  

In many countries, such as the UK or Canada, unconsented sexual intercourse is classified as rape and a statutory offence. However, non-consent is not sufficient grounds to punish a rapist in Japan. This is very different from laws in other countries. I hope Japan will follow those criminal codes. 

Under current Japanese criminal law, non-consensual sexual intercourse is only punishable if it involves one of the following:

  ❶Using assault or intimidation (Article 177).
  ❷By taking advantage of a loss of consciousness or inability to resist, or by causing a loss of consciousness or inability to resist (Article 178).
  ❸By taking advantage of a position of influence with victims who are under 18 years old and in their care or custody (Article 179).

Without consent is not sufficient to punish the rapist. I think this is very wrong. So, I am asking you to sign a petition for a change of law to enable the punishment of an offender just on the basis of no consent. I hope Japan will follow those criminal codes. 

I am asking you to sign a petition in the hope that it will help change the law to enable the punishment of any offender in such a case where the victim is unable to provide consent. 

The background of Penal Code revision in Japan
The parliament's revised the Penal Code on sex crimes - which was passed and enacted in June 2017.  It was the first major revision in 110 years since its establishment in 1907. However, the revision still remained strongly affected by the laws and concepts from more than a 100 years ago (Meiji era) and a number of issues still remain unresolved. Therefore, further revision is necessary. Although reviewing is in sight of within three years, I think urgent revision is needed in order to protect victims who do not have many choices but let the matter drop with despair. 

Consent Issues
I think there is a huge disparity between consent in Japan and consent in countries where non-consensual sexual intercourse is punishable. For instance, the absence of consent can be interpreted as "consented" in Japan. Or if a victim has given up resisting, it may be interpreted as having given consent through cease of resistance.

If this request is granted, I think Japanese society requires re-education regarding “sexual consent” so that Japanese society can gradually become place that is safer for the vulnerable and at risk little by little.

According to a survey, the following proportion of Japanese seem to think that "it can not be ruled out that sexual consent has been agreed."

   Having had dinner alone together  11%
   Having had a drink alone together 27% 
   Having gotten in a car alone     25%
   Wearing exposing clothing      23%
   Inebriated                 35% 

These numbers are shocking and the Japanese society needs to change as well.  

The followings are the Japanese Penal Code for your reference.
Article 177: Rape
A person who, through assault or intimidation, forcibly commits sexual intercourse, anal sex or oral sex (hereinafter referred to as "sexual intercourse etc.") with a person of not less than thirteen years of age commits the crime of rape and shall be punished by imprisonment with work for a definite term of not less than 5 years. The same shall apply to a person who commits sexual intercourse with a person under thirteen years of age.

Article 178: Quasi Forcible Indecency; Quasi Rape
(2) A person who commits sexual intercourse with a person by taking advantage of a loss of consciousness or inability to resist, or by causing a loss of consciousness or inability to resist, shall be punished in the same matter as prescribed in the preceding Article.

Article 179
Those who have taken advantage of a position of influence by having sexual intercourse etc with victims who are under 18 years old and in their care or custody, shall be punished in the same manner as prescribed in Article 177.

About myself
I am a very ordinary Japanese woman and have never been involved in any kind of campaign in my life. Actually, I don't even have much knowledge regarding petitions or campaigns. However, I was utterly shocked when I read about this court case. I just could not accept why the father was found not guilty. I thought that rape was a statutory offence and sexual intercourse without consent is rape. But this is not the case in Japan. I believe this to be profoundly wrong and that Japanese law needs to change. Within a few hours of having read the article, I had already set up this petition hastily. As such, I might have unintentionally written something incorrectly because all my knowledge was gathered from the Internet; if you have any advice or if you feel something is not right, or my English has mistakes, please let me know. As I am just an ordinary Japanese woman with a single voice, I am sincerely asking for your cooperation in raising awareness in the hope that these laws can be changed to better protect those that are so vulnerable and at risk. Please help me spread the word about this petition on your social network - with your friends, family, colleagues and to as many people you know. Your cooperation will be appreciated immensely.