Draft plan presented to boost benefits for crime victims in Japan

Japan's National Police Agency is planning to significantly increase the amount of benefits paid to crime victims.

A draft of the revision to the support system for crime victims and bereaved families was presented at a meeting of an expert panel on Monday. The police agency has held such meetings since August last year.

Under the current support system, government benefits are paid to such people as bereaved families of murder victims and those who have been left with a severe disability due to criminal acts.

The benefit amount is calculated based on the age and income of the victims at the time of crimes, so the amount is small when the victims are children or those with low incomes.

The draft says benefits would be increased for spouses, parents and children of deceased victims. In cases where a murder victim is a child or a person with a low income, the lower limit of benefits would be raised to about 10 million yen, or about 67,000 dollars.

The daft also recommends an increase in the amount when a child or a person with a low income has been left with a severe disability.

The agency plans to make arrangements to revise relevant laws, with an aim of implementing the new system in the early months of the next fiscal year that starts in April.