Japan ruling bloc and two opposition parties agree on Penal Code revision

Japan's ruling bloc and two major opposition parties have agreed to include in a supplementary resolution to the draft revision of the Penal Code that not all sexual acts between teenagers will go unpunished.

The Penal Code draft revision currently under deliberation in the Diet would rename "forcible sexual intercourse" to "sexual intercourse without consent" and extend the statute of limitations by five years. It would also raise the age of consent from the current 13 to 16.

Adults will be punished for sexual activity with anyone under 16, but minors who engage in such activity with each other will not.

Therefore, in cases where the victims are 13 to 15 years old, the perpetrator subject to punishment will be five or more years older than the victim.

On Wednesday, Lower House Judicial Affairs Committee directors from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito and the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party and Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party held talks on the draft revision.

They agreed to add extra provisions and a supplementary resolution to the draft at the opposition's request.

The supplementary resolution would effectively say that sexual acts between junior high school students and 18 or 19-year-old adults are not uniformly condoned.

It would also say that with regard to the extension of the statute of limitations on sexual intercourse without consent, a study on the difficulty of reporting the crime should be included in the extra provision.

The committee is expected to approve the draft revision of the Penal Code as early as this week.