Amending Japanese crime law: names of 18 and 19-year-old criminals to no longer be concealed
soranews24.com -- Jul 07
From April 2022, the age of majority, or the age one is considered a legal adult, in Japan will lower from 20 to 18.

While this leaves the status of important annual rituals such as coming-of-age ceremonies in limbo, the shift will allow younger people a wider range of privileges such as the ability to vote, own a passport, and apply for a credit card.

However, the implications of the shift will also reverberate in another important part of Japanese society: juvenile criminal law.

Recently, the Abe administration has entered a round of inner party discussions over amending a law protecting the privacy of juvenile criminals. In prior years, if the perpetrator of a serious crime was younger than the age of 20, their names as well as photos were censored from mass media. Given the government’s push to lower the age of legal adulthood to 18, it comes to no surprise that the age threshold for withholding a criminal’s name from the news will be lowered as well.

While whether or not one believes teenagers should be tried as adults is dependent on one’s views on child development and crime, the topic of privacy is an essential issue in Japan, considering how even taking photos of private roads is a finable offense. And depending on one’s own individual opinion for the treatment of criminals, the removal of name concealment for criminals aged 18 and 19 may seem either fair or unethical.

News source: soranews24.com
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