Japan govt. decides on draft juvenile act

NHK -- Feb 20
The Japanese government has decided to amend the country's juvenile act, in accordance with the revised civil code that lowers the age of adulthood from the current 20 to 18 in April of next year.

A draft amendment of the juvenile act was approved at a Cabinet meeting on Friday.

Under the amendment, offenders aged 18 and 19 will continue to be protected under the juvenile act, instead of criminal laws.

But they will be treated differently from both adults and those aged 17 or younger.

Cases involving offenders aged 18 and 19 will continue to be sent to family courts, but the amendment will expand the scope of offenses where the cases must be referred from family courts to prosecutors.

The amendment also allows media outlets to report the names and other information that can identify the perpetrators if they are indicted.

A supplementary provision to the draft amendment stipulates that the legal treatment of individuals aged 18 and 19 will be reviewed five years after the enforcement of the new act.

The government hopes to have the Diet approve the amendment during its current session.

- NHK

政府は18歳と19歳を「特定少年」と呼び、厳罰化を図る少年法の改正案を閣議決定しました。今の国会で成立すれば、来年4月に施行される見通しです。  上川法務大臣:「18~19歳の者をとりまく社会情勢の変化を踏まえ、18歳以上の特例を定めるものです」  少年法の改正案では18歳と19歳を特定少年と新たに位置付けています。  特定少年については、刑事手続きを取る犯罪の対象範囲を現在の殺人罪など人を死亡させた場合に加えて、強盗罪や強制性交罪などにも拡大するとし、厳罰化する内容となっています。  また、起訴された段階で実名などを報じることができるとしています。  今の国会で成立すれば、成人年齢を18歳に引き下げる改正民法と同時に来年4月に施行される見通しです。 - ANNnewsCH