40,000 Students Sign Petition To Raise Age Of Consent From 13 To 16 In Japan
A group of students have submitted a petition to Japan’s Justice Ministry asking to raise the country’s age of consent from 13 to 16.
The petition boasts over 40,000 signatures and was submitted on Friday, November 20, to Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa.
As it stands, Japan is one of a handful on countries to have such a low age of consent; the likes of Burkina Faso, Comoros and Niger also have 13-years-old as their age of consent, while it’s 12 in the Philippines and Angola.
The country with the world’s lowest age of consent is Nigeria, where it’s currently set at 11-years-old, according to AgeOfConsent. Most countries have an age of consent between 16 and 18.
At the time of writing, the ongoing Japanese petition has 40,853 signatures, with the hopes of it reaching 50,000.
The petition reads, ‘Imagine when you were 13 years old. What if your child was 13 years old? Think of your 13-year-old brother or sister. Can the 13-year-old show a Yes or No intention for sexual activity? Speaking of 13 years old, he is still a child and has little knowledge of sexuality.’
The age of consent is the minimum age of consent for sexual activity. Therefore, in Japan, when unconsensual sexual activity is performed, if the victim is 13 years old or older, the victim must prove “there was assault / intimidation” and “how much he resisted”.
Even if an adult cannot deny sexual activity, it will not be treated as a criminal sexual offense unless it can be proved that there was assault or intimidation.
Your Voice Matters – the group behind the petition – took to the social media to thank people for signing.
The group wrote, ‘We are extremely thankful for all of your support towards our campaign. No words can describe how happy I am to know that many of us share the same passion towards protecting our children in Japan’.
They added, ‘Without all of your help, we wouldn’t have been able to get this far, and although it feels that it is not enough to express my gratitude for all of you on this post, I still wanted to thank all of you’.
21-year-old Kwansei Gakuin, a member of Your Voice Matters, expressed how important this it is to raise the age of consent.
She told The Asahi Shimbun, ‘It is important to raise the age of consent in order to protect minors who are still immature physically and psychologically from sex crimes in light of the fact sexual intercourse is not taught during compulsory education’.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]