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Japanese age of consent (misinterpreted fact or blatant lie?)

Discussion in 'Japanese News & Hot Topics' started by Kirie_Maiden, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Kirie_Maiden

    Kirie_Maiden Rope Shrine Maiden

    Mar 5, 2007
    I just found an article detailing the 10 stupidest British Laws.

    Underneath, there was a section detailling the 10 stupidest foreign laws.

    Number 9 on this list claims that there is no age of consent in Japan. However, further research has told me that the age of consent is 13 and, in some prefectures, 16. I was wondering how people felt about this comment. Is it just a "fact" that the writers didn't think to look into, or is it a blatent lie to further the stereotype of Japan as an extremely perverted nation?

    Here is a link to the original article, Ten stupidest laws are named - Telegraph.co.uk
  2. undrentide

    undrentide Japa'n vagyok

    Jan 18, 2006
    We do have age of consent here in Japan, its 16 years old for female and 18 years old for male.
    It is the same anywhere in Japan.
    (And of course, even one reached the age of consent, she/he still needs approval of her/his parents for marriage as long as they are minors, i.e. less than 20 years old.)

    I'm appalled to see it's an article from a newspaper.
    Don't they ever make any research before publishing an article???
  3. Kirie_Maiden

    Kirie_Maiden Rope Shrine Maiden

    Mar 5, 2007
    You would think they would, but some newspapers just publish what people have heard and report it as news when it strictly isn't true. This can be seen in recent articles where newspapers (The Sun mostly) published a story saying that Simon Cowell would cancell the X-Factor if John and Edward survived another week. Dermot O'Leary then published in his own column that this had never been said.

    The article was form 2008, so it might be reasonable to assume Japanese laws have changed in a year, but I refuse to believe there was no age of consent, and I can't believe the paper published it.

    Like I said though, in other countries we have this stereotype of Japan being a perverted nation, full of love-hotels, realistic sex-dolls and the used underwear of school-girls being available in vending machines, and I was wondering if you think that this article was just a lie to further this stereotype or did the writer just not do the research before publishing public opinion?
  4. Astroboy

    Astroboy 先輩

    Dec 5, 2007
    Interesting.... I didn't know that "Hentai" Japan is SO popular in the world. :p
    But in a way, it is partly positve to Japan as it makes the country more mysterious.

    Mysteriousis Japan or Inscrutable Japan is not a new thing in the world, I think.
    And let it be unless it's harmful to Japan.
  5. Derfel

    Derfel SUX Vice-Admiral

    Aug 30, 2007
    Actual age of consent in Japan is regionally determined, not by a central body. This is the reason why it is misinterpreted. In Japan the age of consent is 13, in the individual regions it differs. It is simply a two-layer system. Both de facto and de jure the age of consent is NOT 13. If, say, an accession to Japan took place, an additional few square kilometres of water, for example, the default age of consent there would be 13.
  6. undrentide

    undrentide Japa'n vagyok

    Jan 18, 2006
    Sorry, I seem to have mixed up two different "age of consent".

    1. Age of consent for sex is 13 years old.
    It does not differ by region, it's stipulated in ナ炭窶邸 (kei-hou = Penal Code of Japan).
    Since under ナス邃「窶慊カ窶「ナクナスニ停?邸 (jidou fukushi hou = Child Welfare Act of Japan), the definition of Child is under 18 years old, also the age of consent for marrige is 16 y.o (female) and 18 y.o. (male), age of consent for sex (13 years old) is not widely acknowledged.

    2. Age of consent for marrige is 16 years old for female and 18 years old for male.
    It is stipulated in 窶督ッ窶邸 (min-pou = Civil Code of Japan).

    What varies by region is a local law - act for sound upbringing of juveniles.
    I do not know the official term for such laws, it is ツ静つ渉ュ窶扼ナ停?吮?牢ヒ?ァツ青ャツ湘ー窶氾。 (seishounen kenzen ikusei jourei) in Japanese, its meaning is what I wrote in the above.
    Almost all the prefectures (except Nagano-ken) set this law, and it includes a clause forbidding anyone to do the act of obscenity to juveniles.
    Definition of "juvenile" here varies - some acts are based on Penal Code thus it is those under 13 years old, while other acts are based on Child Welfare Act which means those under 18 years old.
    Even the local acts stipulates the prevention of child (= under 13 years old) from abscenity, it does not mean it is commonly accepted to have sex with the 13 years olds.
  7. A ke bono kane kotto

    Aug 14, 2007
    Wikipedia says :

    "The national age of consent in Japan is 13 as specified by the Japanese Penal Code Articles 176 and 177. However, prefectures can have ordinances that prohibit sexual activities with any minor under 18."


    In Europe, only Spain has such a low age of consent. The average is 16.
  8. bakaKanadajin

    bakaKanadajin 千葉県

    Apr 30, 2007
    Age of consent just means the age they can legally have sex with each other right? Say, a 13 and 15 year old have their first time. According to the law they can't get in trouble.

    I mean Japan doesn't actually permit men to have sex with girls who are 13 does it?
  9. undrentide

    undrentide Japa'n vagyok

    Jan 18, 2006
    You're right, the answer is "no" because it's against Child Welfare Act.
  10. Kirie_Maiden

    Kirie_Maiden Rope Shrine Maiden

    Mar 5, 2007
    In all fairness, in places where the age of consent is higher, it's still not generally accepted. In Britain, the age of consent is 16 but that doesn't mean it's accepted for a 40 year old man to sleep with a 16 year old girl. Unfortunately, it does happen but, it's not against the law... just not a generally accepted thing. The man would be socially regarded as a pervert but legally, there's nothing wrong there.

    I just wonder where the article I mentioned got their 'Fact' from, and it makes me wonder if any of the other laws in it are true.
  11. charizardpal

    charizardpal 後輩

    Mar 3, 2010
    Sorry for the bump, but does anyone have a list of prefectures, or at least the original source of this law IN JAPANESE? Because there is a lot of disagreement on the internet about the actual age of consent and I can't find a trustworthy legal source (english wikipedia without a Japanese citation does not count ye fools...)
  12. Toritoribe

    Toritoribe 松葉解禁
    Staff Member Moderator

    Feb 22, 2008
    刑法 the penal code
    第二編 罪
    第二十二章 わいせつ、姦淫及び重婚の罪
    第百七十七条  暴行又は脅迫を用いて十三歳以上の女子を姦淫した者は、強姦の罪とし、三年以上の有期懲役に処する。十三歳未満の女子を姦淫した者も、同様とする。

    list of prefecture ordinances for the protection of young people

    example: the case of Tokyo
    第一章 総則
    第二条 この条例において、次の各号に掲げる用語の意義は、それぞれ当該各号に定めるところによる。
    一 青少年 十八歳未満の者をいう。

    第三章の二 青少年の性に関する健全な判断能力の育成
    第十八条の六 何人も、青少年とみだらな性交又は性交類似行為を行つてはならない。

    第五章 罰則
    第二十四条の三 第十八条の六の規定に違反した者は、二年以下の懲役又は百万円以下の罰金に処する。
  13. Coffeesan

    Coffeesan 先輩

    Jul 6, 2011
    I find the 16 for girls and 18 for guys quite suprising. Why is there a difference? If anything if a 2 year difference existed I would expect it to be the girls who had to be older as they are in essence a more ''vulnerable'' group. As a whole though most countries age of consent is screwed up. For example..
    Here in the UK it is 16. If a 16yr old guy and 15yr 9 month girl have sex the guy goes to prison. Yet in essence they really are the same age pretty much and as long as its consensual it shouldnt be a issue. Really only extreme ages are a problem.. 19yr old guy and 13yr old guy that is a bit dodgey... Age is less of a factor the older a person becomes another example..
    24 and 30 no issue at all is it? Theyve both been adults for ages but 20 and 14 instantly wrong because a 6 year gap is pretty wrong at that age.

    Age of consents are just fixed defaults because goverments dont have the time to access things on a case by case basis.
  14. Glenn

    Glenn 一切皆苦

    Jan 8, 2004
    In Tokyo-to the age of consent 18 for everyone. That's according to what Toritoribe posted above.
  15. Mataeka

    Mataeka 先輩

    Nov 5, 2011
    I believe (from what I learnt in Legal studies back in 2004 anyway o_O) that in Queensland/Australia its 16, but for more than a 2 year age gap both parties need to be over 18 (ie I think its slightly illegal for a 16 year old to have sex with a 19 year old - although not massively chased up although a 16 year old and a 40 year old probably would be) yet an 18 year old and a 40 year old is fine. I assume many places around the world would be similar? At least morally if not legally.

    I was always grossed out by love hotels when I was in Japan, but then learnt that many kids live with their parents well into their 30s thus its a bit of a requirement to get nookie without your parents busting in on you XD Still - I'll avoid visiting one regardless of how much I'm told of their hygiene standards XD
  16. Kirie_Maiden

    Kirie_Maiden Rope Shrine Maiden

    Mar 5, 2007
    Oh wow... imagine my surprise when I come back to this forum after 2 years and find an old thread of mine resurrected! Thanks for all of your contributions to this. :)

    I know what you mean about the love hotels, Mataeka. The idea kind of grosses me out too. I'd probably take a look, but I doubt I'd actually use one.
  17. Haruka24

    Haruka24 後輩

    Jan 2, 2012
    I find it stupid to have the age of consent at 13 but all the prefectures have it between 16-18. While a 13 year old doesn't interest me in the slightest I do find the whole situation rather strange and confusing. Either have a nationwide AOC at 16,17 or 18 or make it better known like the american states do.
  18. OsakaMarie

    OsakaMarie 先輩

    Dec 14, 2011
    Why oh why would we have to consider love hotels or *RELATIVELY* low age of consent perverse?!

    I find the Japanese views and attitude to sex quite refreshing actually. We tend to judge it as perverse only because of the centuries of Christianism that equates sex with sin and guilt.
  19. Glenski

    Glenski Just me

    Aug 20, 2003
    How can you really think it is "better known" in the US? Geez!

    I'm American, and I couldn't tell you what the AOC is for any state, let alone my home state! Taking a gander at what Wikipedia says doesn't make it any clearer. Let's just look at 2 states at random (yes, totally random, honest Injun). Emphasis is mine.

    The age of consent in Washington is 16.

    It is also illegal to engage in sexual acts with someone younger than 18 under three different sets of circumstances, enumerated in RCW 9A.44.096. Foster parents with their foster children; school teachers and school administration employees over their students; The third set of circumstances require all of the following situations occur in tandem: The older person is 60 months or more older than the 16- or 17-year-old, the person is in a significant relationship as defined by RCW 9A.44.010, and such older person abuses the relationship to have sexual contact.

    Excuse me? Is there a manual for this somewhere? (What followed was a list of circumstances when there is a "close in age" factor! Even more confusing, eh?!

    The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16 years of age for statutory sexual assault and 18 years for corruption of minors.

    Teenagers aged 13, 14 and 15 may or may not be able to legally engage in sexual activity with partners who are less than 4 years older. Such partners could not be prosecuted under statutory rape laws, but may be liable for other offenses, even when the sexual activity is consensual.
  20. Kirie_Maiden

    Kirie_Maiden Rope Shrine Maiden

    Mar 5, 2007
    "May or may nto be able to" wow... that's not very clear, is it? Is there a website where official laws are posted or anything? Wikipedia doesn't seem very reliable when it comes to this stuff.
  21. nice gaijin

    nice gaijin Resident Realist

    Aug 8, 2005
    What's refreshing about sex with a middle schooler?

  22. OsakaMarie

    OsakaMarie 先輩

    Dec 14, 2011
    Did I say "I find it refreshing to be able to have sex with a middle schooler"? => NO!

    I just don't mind middle schoolers having sex among themselves, in the sense that I don't think a law can prevent that, only education can. I was not not thinking of an adult having sex with a young teen, I mean who's the one with a twisted mind here?!?

    I think there must be laws protecting anyone and particularly young people from coerced sex, be it through force or authority. Laws regulating age differences between partners are a good start.
  23. nice gaijin

    nice gaijin Resident Realist

    Aug 8, 2005
    I assumed that you were referring to the
    you mentioned just before lumping the collective "we" together in your indictment of "Christianism" that is responsible for our puritanical views on sex.

    However, the "age of consent" is most commonly invoked in cases of statutory rape. In fact, the first recorded law regarding the age of consent was codified in British rape statutes. It's a law that's designed to keep minors from getting "corrupted," or as you say, coerced or forced into a sexual relationship before they're truly aware of what they're consenting to. So, it seemed that what you were patting Japan on the back for was its relatively loose protection of minors from sexual exploitation.

    I suggest you consider the topic and choose your words more carefully next time you decide to speak for the rest of us.
  24. Zoopnigh

    Zoopnigh 後輩

    Feb 19, 2012
    I don't think that that is necessarily true, or else the term "jailbait" would not be common place. If these laws were used almost solely in cases where a young individual was forced or coerced, then no one would use the term "jailbait" to simply describe an attractive younger person. I've personally heard many accounts, both from the perspective of the older and younger individual, where someone is thrown in jail and labeled a sex offender when both parties involved thoroughly testify that it was 100 percent consensual. All it takes is 1 person who doesn't like the older individual to call the cops, and no amount of support or testifying from the younger individual will do anything. I'm not saying age of consent laws shouldn't exist, but there should be some sense in the way they are enforced, and there often isn't, at least in conserv-o-town America (I live in Texas).
  25. Glenski

    Glenski Just me

    Aug 20, 2003
    Who actually used the term jailbait in such an innocent way? Whoo-boy!

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