Restraining orders against stalkers rise to record in Japan

Japanese police say restraining orders against stalkers rose to a record last year.

The National Police Agency said there were 19,843 reports or complaints of stalking in 2023, up 712 from the previous year. A total of 1,963 restraining orders were issued based on Japan's anti-stalking law.

Women accounted for 87 percent of the victims, and men 13 percent.

Restraining orders in such cases were up 219 last year from 2022, and an increase for the seventh straight year since it became possible to issue the order without advance notice.

But the remaining challenge has been how to cope with the stalker after an order is issued.

In January last year, in Fukuoka City, a woman was killed by a former boyfriend who had been ordered to stay away from her.

The agency plans to begin follow-up programs across the country, including having police officers call or visit those who have been issued restraining orders, and urging them to seek counseling if necessary.