(a) Refugee Children
(International and national laws applicable to children recognized as refugees and specific procedures applying to them)
285. See Paragraph 249 of the Initial Report of Japan.
As of the end of December 2000, 13 children were applying for recognition of refugee status and 86 children had been recognized as refugees.
(Protection and assistance of refugee children)
286. With regard to social life, nationality requirements are eliminated
from such laws as the Child Allowance Law, Child-rearing Allowance Law and
Special Child-rearing Allowance Law, and consequently, they are basically
qualified to receive such allowance in the same as way Japanese nationals
and other general foreigners.
In addition, the Government, through the Refugee Assistance Headquarters of the Foundation for the Welfare and Education of the Asian People, supplies protective funds to persons, including children, who are in difficult conditions to live, out of those who are applying for recognition of refugee status.
(Relevant international instruments on human rights and humanity concluded by Japan)
287. Relevant international instruments in human rights and humanity concluded by Japan include, in the main, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
(National laws and procedures to determine the refugee status and ensure the protection of the rights of refugee children)
288. See Paragraph 285.
(Protection and humanitarian assistance to enjoy applicable rights set forth in the Convention of the Rights of the Child)
289. See Paragraphs 250 and 251 of the Initial Report of Japan.
(Search for the parents and other family members of refugee children)
290. See Paragraph 253 of the Initial Report of Japan.
(b) Children in Armed Conflicts (including physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration) (Articles 38 and 39)
(Relevant international laws concluded by Japan)
291. Japan concluded the Geneva Convention of 12 August, 1949, which concerns the protection of what is called war victims. The Geneva Convention consists of the following conventions: the Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (Geneva, 12 August, 1949), the Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea (Geneva, 12 August, 1949), the Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Geneva, 12 August, 1949), and the Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva, 12 August, 1949).
(Ensure that persons who have not reached fifteen years of age do not participate directly in hostile actions/Protection of child rights in hostilities/Mechanism to monitor the status of implementation)
292. Except for educational institutions (youth cadet program), those who
are 18 years old or over are recruited into the Self-Defense Forces on their
application (The Enforcement Regulations of the Self-Defense Forces Law
(Article 25) and Instructions for Assignment of Youth Cadets). Those who
apply to the Self-Defense forces are required to submit public documents
identifying their date of birth (full copy of one's family register), to
prevent those under 15 years of age from being recruited mistakenly
(Instructions for Personnel Records). When, after joining the Self-Defense
Forces, the above document reveals that an applicant does not have
qualifications for examination, the decision on his recruitment is made
invalid and he/she loses place.
These measures ensure that Japan refrains from recruiting any person who has not reached fifteen years of age and letting them participate directly in hostilities.
Since the Convention was ratified in April 1994, those under 15 years of age have never been recruited into the Self-Defense Forces nor have participated directly in hostile actions.
293. In November 1998, an international symposium titled "Children and
Armed Conflicts" was held in Japan to enhance the civil society's
understanding of and support for children in armed conflicts. The
"International Workshop/Symposium on Children and Armed Conflict-
Reintegration of Former Child Soldiers in the Post - Conflict Community" was
held in Tokyo in November 2000.
Furthermore, Japan has made a significant contribution to major relevant international organizations, such as the Office of Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflicts, UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and has proved ODA on bilateral basis for the protection and welfare of child victims of armed conflicts. Recent examples include a contribution of about 16 million dollars to the school reconstruction project in Kosovo in May 2000, and about 1.23 million dollars to the elementary school renovation project in East Timor in July 2000, to help children reintegrate into society after the conflict.
(a) Administration of Juvenile Justice (Article 40)
(a-1) Measures to acknowledge and ensure the rights of the child in the administration of juvenile justice
(Investigation of a Juvenile Case)
294. In investigating a juvenile case, it is necessary to clarify not only fact of misconduct (or a crime), the fact regarding the correction of a child's character and adjustment of environment, or the necessity of protective measures. In interviewing juveniles, full consideration is given to time, place and their conduct, etc.
(Consideration to the age of the child)
295. In Japan, those who are under 20 years of age are treated as juveniles ("shonen") under the Juvenile Law. If a juvenile commits a crime, he/she is treated according to procedures different from those for adults (20 years or older) under the Juvenile Law as mentioned below, and appropriate measures are taken considering to his/her age, in order to facilitate him/her play a constructive role in future society. In addition, the Japanese Penal Code provides that those under 14 years of age are not punished for their conduct. Those under 14 are, in principle, sent to Facilities for Development of Self-sustaining Capacity or a Children's Home under the Child Welfare Law.
(i) Generally speaking, juveniles are highly malleable while they are immature. Therefore it is considered that protection and education contribute more to the sound growth of the juveniles who committed crimes than criminal punishment. In Japan, when juveniles commit crimes, their cases are sent or reported to a Family Court from the viewpoint of ensuring the sound upbringing of juveniles and correcting their characters and adjusting their environment.
(ii) The Family Court has not only a judicial function, including determining whether misconduct was committed or not, but also a welfare function, including determining the necessary of protective measures regarding the causes of delinquency and other various factors for preventing the recurrence of delinquency by ordering Family Court Probation Officers who are experts of human related sciences to look into the conduct, career, temperament and environment of the juvenile, his/her guardians or of the other persons concerned, by making use of medical, psychological, pedagogical, sociological and other fields' expertise. To make efficient use of these two functions, an ex officio hearing structure is adopted in juvenile judgment procedures: the Family Court conducts an investigation of a juvenile delinquent and makes a hearing to determine the most appropriate and reasonable measures or dispositions for the juvenile, since it is not desirable to have public prosecutors confront juveniles as criminals like in criminal procedure, an informal hearing structure is more appropriate, in which a judge asks questions to them directly and gives them educational instructions with the help of the persons concerned.
(iii) It is also indispensable for the juvenile proceedings to find
delinquency properly and clarify the case, in order to realize the original
objective of the juvenile justice: to give appropriate protective measure to
the juvenile for their sound growth. On the other hand, it is important both
for the justice system and for the interest of a child to prevent a
non-delinquent child from being treated mistakenly. Thus, new procedures
have been introduced into the Law Amending Part of the Juvenile Law to carry
out the fact finding procedures more appropriately while maintaining the
structure of the law. Specifically, a discretionary collegiate court system
has been introduced in the area of the juvenile proceeding. (Article 31-4,
Paragraph II (1) of the Court Organization Law). Though all juvenile cases
had been held in front of a single judge, more and more complicated and
difficult cases came to be recognized in juvenile delinquencies, which
necessitated the employment of a system in which a juvenile is heard and
judged under a multi-judge panel system and with the multiple viewpoints.
Furthermore, as for certain cases which have problems in finding the fact of
delinquency, it is necessary to ensure multiple viewpoints during collecting
and examining evidence to avoid the confronting situation between a judge
and a juvenile, and to ensure the trust of the general public, including the
victim, in the fact finding procedure in a juvenile hearing by refining it.
From the above viewpoints, prosecutors are to get involved in juvenile
hearing. When it is deemed necessary, the Family Court may make the decision
to get prosecutors to participate in hearing procedures to find the fact of
delinquency. In that case, prosecutor (s) may be present in hearings as long
as it is beneficial to find the fact of delinquency. (Article 22-2 of the
Juvenile Law). Prosecutors participate in juvenile hearings to cooperate to
proceed the hearing in order to assure the appropriate practice of fact
finding process as the representative of public interest while observing a
Family Court's right to hold proceedings, not as a prosecutor or a
representative as the plaintiff, thus continuously ensuring the ex officio
hearing structure under the revised Juvenile Law. When a prosecutor is
involved in a juvenile trial procedure, it is appropriate for a juvenile to
appoint an attendant who is a lawyer in a position to protect the child's
interest to keep the balance with the presence of the prosecutor. Thus when
a lawyer as an attendant is not available to a juvenile, a Family Court may
ex officio assign an attendant who is a lawyer (Article 22-3 of the revised
It is important to adopt protective measures toward a juvenile but also to make the juvenile's parents aware of their responsibility and try to improve and rehabilitate the juvenile, in order to prevent the recurrence of delinquency and encourage the sound development of the juvenile. Thus, the Law Amending Part of the Juvenile Law newly stipulates that a Family Court may take appropriate measures such as warnings (admonition) and guidance or order a Family Court Probation Officers to take such measures in investigation and hearing, in order to make guardians aware of their responsibility in the care of their juvenile (s) and prevent their delinquency (Article 25-2 of the revised Juvenile Law).
(iv) As all juvenile cases are to be handled initially in a Family Court
as mentioned above, the Family Court judges whether to take protective
measures or not. In this respect, under the previous Juvenile Law, the
Family Court may send a juvenile, only if over 16 years old, to a prosecutor
to get him/her subjected to criminal procedures as an adult, when it finds
that the investigation justifies the criminal disposition in light of the
nature of the crime and circumstances of an offense punishable by death
penalty, or imprisonment with/ without forced labor.
However, recent years have witnessed so many heinous and serious crimes by young children. The minimum age to criminal disposition has been lowered to 14 years of age under the revised Juvenile Law in consistence with the age of criminal responsibility since it is necessary to make the juvenile aware of his/her responsibility in society and encourage the sound development of the juvenile by explicitly stating that even children aged 14 and 15 may be punished if they commit serious crimes. (Article 20, Paragraph 1 of the revised Juvenile Law). It is also important to explicitly state the principle that a juvenile who has committed a crime, causing death resulting from an intentional criminal act, such as murder, murder of the occasion of robbery, rape resulting in death may be subjected to criminal disposition, in light of their serious anti-social, anti-moral nature, in order to develop a juvenile's sense of norm and encourage his/her sound growth. Thus, under the revised Juvenile Law, a Family Court has to determine whether a juvenile is referred to a prosecutor, when a victim dies from his/her intentional criminal act and the perpetrator is older than 16 years of age at the time when crime was committed. In principle, the cases mentioned above should be determined for the referral to a prosecutor. However, a Family Court may not send a juvenile to a prosecutor, when it finds the procedures other than criminal dispositions are appropriate in consideration of the motivation and manner of an offense, circumstances after the crime, the child's character, age, behavior, environments and other facts revealed by the Family Court investigation. It is possible to adopt protective measures to a juvenile by considering the specific nature of the case and child's personality. (Article 20, Paragraph 2 of the revised Juvenile Law.)
In the case of the Family Court sending a juvenile to a prosecutor to get him/her subjected to criminal procedures and criminal disposition, there are exceptions such as: commutation of punishment of the death penalty and life sentences to juveniles under 18 years of age; separating juveniles from adults in prison; and shorter period to acquire an approval for provisional release, are provided in consideration of the character of juveniles. Furthermore, in the case where fines are rendered to a juvenile, detaining such juvenile at a work house as a replacement for punishment is prohibited.
(Consideration for promoting the child's reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society)
296. As mentioned in paragraphs 257 to 260 of the Initial Report of Japan,
correctional institutions taking into full consideration, as elements of
healthy upbringing of juveniles, promoting the juvenile's awareness of human
dignity and value and reinforcing the juvenile's respect for the human
rights and fundamental freedom of others, treat juveniles fairly and
appropriately in accordance with their specific age and in a way that will
encourage them to reintegrate into society and play a constructive role in
To help a juvenile reintegrate into society and play a constructive role in society, since the Initial Report of Japan was submitted, vocational training has been further improved and expanded in Juvenile Prisons to include new subjects such as forklift operation training. Vocational training and guidance have also been actively provided in Juvenile Training Schools. In 2000, 1,817 out of 5,484 released juveniles acquired qualifications and licenses of various subjects learned at the Schools. Those who were granted completion certificates of junior high schools numbered 256 juveniles.
The revision of the Juvenile Law lowered the age at which a person may be subject to criminal dispositions to 14 years, and accordingly, juveniles who are 14 years of age or older may not only adopt a protective measure but also be punished for criminal offense. Juveniles under 16 years of age who are sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor, may get correctional education in a Juvenile Training School until he/she attains 16 years of age (Article 56, Paragraph 3 of the Juvenile Law). A juvenile who will be sent to a Juvenile Training School to serve his/her sentence is to have compulsory education, in case that he/she has not completed it, and have medical treatment under the control of a medical doctor if necessary, in consideration of the objects of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition, life guidance is to be provided thoroughly, focusing on helping a juvenile recognize the seriousness of his/her committed delinquencies and be awakened to a sense of guilt, as well as on fostering enriched humanity by making him/her recognize the preciousness of human life, and developing a sympathetic and thoughtful heart.
Juveniles placed in Juvenile Prisons are also highly malleable, in light of the development stage of their minds and bodies. They are highly likely to be corrected through the proper approach. Thus, new measures have been introduced to set up several goals and treat them systematically, specifically, to promote the juvenile's respect for human dignity and value and reinforce the juvenile's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others, by analyzing and clarifying underlying problems that have led to the committed crime and by developing a personalized treatment plan in accordance with the juvenile's personality. Such a treatment plan includes: individual guidance including a personal interview, diary writing, etc. guidance by type of treatment and other guidance with the use of various treatment techniques, guidance to make them understand the mental pain of the victims and awaken their sense of guilt. Thus efforts are made to diversify guidance subjects and methods, give consideration to a child's age and, in particular, enrich educational activities, and encourage inmates to undergo vocational training so that released juveniles are promoted to play a constructive role in society.
Furthermore, in a Juvenile Classification Home and a Detention House, consideration is given to providing learning opportunities to juveniles at the age of compulsory education, by ensuring self-study time as long as they do not disrupt the implementation of classification and the purpose of detention, arranging textbooks and other learning materials, giving consideration to the interview with teachers at the school that the juvenile attended.
Also See Paragraph 261 of the Initial Report of Japan.
(a-2) Relevant international instruments applicable in the area of juvenile justice and legislation and other measures to ensure the implementation of Article 40, Paragraph 2 (Provision of Relevant international instruments)
297. "The relevant provisions of international instruments" as specified in Article 40, Paragraph 2 of the Convention seemingly include: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (B Convention), the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice ("The Beijing Rules"), United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency ("The Riyadh Guidelines"), and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty ("The 1990 Rules").
(Appeal and Reappeal in the Juvenile Law)
298. See Paragraph 268 of the Initial Report of Japan.
Under the revised Juvenile Law, when there are serious errors about the finding of facts in a ruling by a Family Court with regard to a case in which a prosecutor is involved, the prosecutor may make an appeal and the High Court may accept it if it finds it justifiable to accept it as an appellate instance (Article 32-4 of the revised Juvenile Law).
Under the old Juvenile Law, even after a ruling of protective measures, and when a Family Court has found new data proving that such measures were taken, whereas the Family Court has no jurisdiction over the juvenile, such measures shall be revoked. Under the revised Juvenile Law, even after the completion of protective measures and when a Family Court has found new data proving that protective measures were taken, whereas there were no reasons for bringing the matter to the juvenile trial, the Family Court which adopted the protective measures have to revoke such measures by a ruling (Article 27-2, Paragraph 2 of the revised Juvenile Law)
(Notification of Offense)
299. The Code of Criminal Procedure requires public prosecutors to file
information which includes the name of the accused and the facts
constituting the offense charged, etc., when instituting a public
prosecution (Article 256 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). The Code also
requires the court to serve the accused with a copy of the information
without delay when public prosecution has been instituted (Article 271,
Paragraph 1 of the said Code). Thereby, the accused is informed of the
offense for which he/she is prosecuted.
With respect to the juvenile hearing procedure, the Rule of Juvenile Proceedings provides that, at the beginning of the proceeding of the commitment to a Juvenile Classification Home or of the initial hearing, a juvenile shall be informed of the offense for which he/she is prosecuted (Article 19-3, Article 29-2 of the said Rule). In addition, it has become a general practice to announce the facts to be put on the juvenile proceedings to the juvenile by the Family Court Probation Officer when an juvenile is investigated by the Family Court Probation Officer preceding the hearing before the judges.
(Prohibition of compelling juveniles to testify against themselves)
300. See Paragraph 266 of the Initial Report of Japan.
The Rules of Juvenile Proceedings require judges to explain plainly to a juvenile that he/she is not obliged to testify in the proceeding of the commitment to a Juvenile Classification Home and at the beginning of the initial trial term. (Article 19-3 and Article 29-2 of the Rule)
(Right to examine witness)
301. Regarding the criminal procedure, Article 37, Paragraph 2 of the
Constitution provides that "He or she (the accused) shall be permitted full
opportunity to examine all the witness, and he or she shall have the right
to request witness for him/herself compulsory process at public expense." In
line with this, the Code of Criminal Procedure guarantees the accused or
defense counsels the right to request examination of witnesses, the right to
be present at such examination, and the right to examine witnesses. The said
Code also restricts the validity of an investigator's record of oral
statement which did not go through cross-examination.
The Juvenile Law states that the provisions concerning questioning of witnesses in the Criminal Procedure Law should also be applied to juvenile proceedings, as long as they are not against the nature of juvenile protective cases. Therefore, a juvenile's right to question and cross-examination witnesses is also fully guaranteed in juvenile trials.
Because the Juvenile Law adopts the ex officio hearings structure (see paragraph 295 (ii)) regarding the request for witness attendance, the Law has no provisions on a juvenile or his/her attendant's direct right to request questioning of witnesses. The juvenile, his/her guardians and attendant, however, may request the examination of evidence (examination of a witness, etc.) (Article 29-3 of the Rule) and, additionally, in some cases, a Family Court may be requested ex officio to examine evidence. If judges do not examine witnesses without justifiable reasons, and that is affecting the determination of protective measures, the failure to examine witnesses may be grounds for an appeal.
(a-3) Establishment of laws, etc. especially applicable to children alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law
302. As mentioned above, the Criminal Law of Japan provides that persons
over age 14 are considered criminally liable.
Juvenile hearing proceedings, which are not criminal procedurer, are as described in Paragraphs 294 and 295.
(a-4) Care and guidance
303. See Paragraph 261 of the Initial Report of Japan.
(a-5) Training activities developed for all professionals regarding relevant international instruments including the Beijing Rules, etc.
304. See Paragraphs 44-52 of this Report.
(a-6) Progress, problems, etc.
305. See Paragraphs 295.
Reference data for Article 40, Paragraph 2 (b) (iv) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are as follows.
Total number of interpreters/translators engaged in general incidents which were closed and subtotals corresponding to nationalities
|Nationality presence of interpreters/
|Total||U.S.A||Vietnam||Republic of Korea/North Korea||Columbia||Thailand||China||Philippines||Brazil||Peru||Others|
(b) Children deprived of liberty by any form of detention or confinement, including accommodation under protection (Article 37 (b) (c) and (d))
(b-1) Detention, imprisonment, or the placement of a person in custodial setting
306. See Paragraphs 274 and 275 of the Initial Report of Japan.
Furthermore, consideration is given to the character of juveniles detained in the investigation stage, for instance no juvenile may be detained without unavoidable reason; if he/she is to be detained, the Juvenile Classification Home may be designated as a detention place, and detention and shelter care may be taken as an alternative measure to detention.
In juvenile protection proceedings, it is provided that protective detention, to place a juvenile in a Juvenile Classification Home, shall be put into practice by the decision of a Family Court. The term of detention and shelter care shall be two weeks in principle, and renewable every two weeks.However, no matter how complicated the crime is, the term shall not exceed eight weeks (Article 17 of the revised Juvenile Law).
The old Juvenile Law provided that the term of protective detention shall not exceed four weeks at the longest. However, some juvenile crimes require a considerable amount of time for hearing, including many evidence examinations. It is extremely difficult to finish such hearing within four weeks at the longest. In such cases under the previous system, a juvenile would have to be released and the juvenile proceedings would be continued, which may lead to that the juvenile would escape or attempt to commit suicide. Therefore, it is considered that the extension of the detention and shelter care term was needed in order to prevent such situation while appropriately finding facts and ruling the most suitable treatment for the juvenile. Consequently, the revised Juvenile Law made it possible to extend the period of detention and shelter care up to eight weeks at the longest. Meanwhile, since there was no system to appeal against detention and shelter care, under the revised Juvenile Law, the appeal system against the decision of the detention and shelter care and of its renewal was newly established, in order to make more unblemished judgments about the detention of a juvenile, in view of this extension of the measures for detention and shelter care term. This appeal may be made by the juvenile, the legal representative or attendant of the accused juvenile to the Family Court. (Article 17-2, Revised Juvenile Law.) (See Paragraph 279 and Paragraph 280 of the Initial Report of Japan.)
307. See Paragraphs 274 and 277 of the Initial Report of Japan.
As systems which periodically review the placement of a juvenile in a Juvenile Training School and a Juvenile Prison, applicable only to the appropriate period of detention, there exist systems of release on parole both from a Juvenile Training School and from a Juvenile Prison as a prisoner with or without labor. These systems intend to help a juvenile rehabilitate and return smoothly to society.
The average detention period of juveniles who were released on parole from Juvenile Training Schools in 2000 was 148 days in case of those who receive general short-term treatment intended for juveniles whose underlying problems are relatively simple or minor, 80 days in case of those who receive special short-term treatment intended for juveniles whose underlying problems are simpler than the previous one and who can receive treatment in an open environment, and 380 days in case of those who receive long-term treatment intended for juveniles who cannot sufficiently show the effects of correctional education in short-term treatment.
(b-2) Existing treatment taken in place of the deprivation of juveniles' liberty (including statistics)
(Reference) Total number of juveniles sentenced to general protective disposition and subtotals corresponding to existence/non-existence of measures for detention and shelter care
|Year||Total||Measures for detention and shelter care|
*Since 1999 the numbers have excluded the cases of bodily injury or death caused by (gross) negligence in the conduct of business of driving care and minor crimes transferred to the Family court in the summary procedure, and crimes which were transferred, to another Family Court or consolidated to the existing case.
(Reference) Number of juvenile cases proceeded according to their final
(supplementary explanation: after a trial is completed, the Family court shall, by means of ruling, take one of the following measures; suspension of disposal, transfer to the governor of a prefecture or superintendent of the Child Guidance Center, transfer to prosecutors, and protective measures. In addition to the transfer to a reformatory which deprives juveniles of liberty, probation and transfer to one of the Support Facilities for Development of Self-sustaining Capacity or Children's Home are also deemed as protective dispositions.)
|Total||TRansfer to prosecutors||Protective measures|
|Total||Criminal Punishment||Over age||Total||Probation||TRansfer to Support Facilities for Development of Self-sustaining Capacity|
|1994||Total number of juveniles||328,083||21,926||16,256||5,670||58,308||53,989||255|
|1995||Total number of juveniles||297,007||17,324||12,648||4,676||55,473||51,314||268|
|1996||Total number of juveniles||295,296||16,343||12,009||4,334||56,092||51,522||270|
|1997||Total number of juveniles||313,093||16,278||11,850||4,428||59,648||54,277||289|
|1998||Total number of juveniles||319,298||15,714||11,218||4,496||60,373||54,545||343|
|1999||Total number of juveniles||302,937||14,977||10,631||4,346||59,936||54,022||337|
|2000||Total number of juveniles||284,998||14,072||9,665||4,407||58,176||51,635||380|
|Protective measures||Transfer to Child Guidance Center||Suspension of disposal||Not started||Transferred, returned, or consolidated cases|
|Transfer to reformatory|
|1994||Total number of juveniles||4,064||170||88,122||124,374||35,183|
|1995||Total number of juveniles||3,891||151||78,033||114,800||31,226|
|1996||Total number of juveniles||4,300||155||74,617||117,085||31,004|
|1997||Total number of juveniles||5,082||146||72,553||132,139||32,329|
|1998||Total number of juveniles||5,485||170||71,095||138,063||33,883|
|1999||Total number of juveniles||5,577||175||66,911||127,625||33,313|
|2000||Total number of juveniles||6,161||193||61,908||116,513||34,136|
(b-3) Relevant statistics on the number of children deprived of liberty, unlawfully, arbitrarily and according to the legal procedure
308. No case regarding "children deprived of liberty, unlawfully or arbitrarily" has been observed. The statistics on children deprived of liberty according to the legal procedure is as follows.
Average daily population in Juvenile Classification Homes
Average daily population in Juvenile Training Schools
Average daily population of juvenile prisoners
*Juvenile prisoner refers to a person who is covered by the Juvenile Law and kept in a penal institution under Article 56 of the same Law.
- See (b-2) for the total number of juveniles charged to general protective disposition and subtotals corresponding to existence/non-existence of measures for detention and shelter care and the number of proceeded juveniles charged to juvenile protective disposition according to their final dispositions.
(b-4) To ensure that any child deprived of liberty is treated as follows
(Treatments in correctional institutions)
309. It is mentioned in paragraphs 107 to 110 of the Initial Report of
Japan that juveniles placed in correctional institutions are not to be
subjected to inhumane treatment. In correctional institutions, in line with
the purpose of the Juvenile Law which aims at the sound growth of juveniles,
the officials give juveniles treatment in accordance with their ages, taking
into account the promotion of the juvenile's sense of dignity and value, as
well as the reinforcement of the juvenile's respect for the human rights and
fundamental freedoms of others.
(See Paragraph 277 of the Initial Report of Japan.)
(Supervision and monitoring correctional institutions, and complaint procedures)
310. In the concluding observations adopted by the Committee on the Rights
of the Child held after reviewing the Initial Report of Japan, a
recommendation has been made to pay attention to monitoring and complaints
procedures (Paragraph 48). As a system to supervise how juveniles are
treated and to realize proper control and management of the correctional
institutions, inspections are conducted for correctional institutions
nation-wide by the Ministry of Justice (the Correction Bureau), and the
regional inspections are conducted by Regional Correction Headquarters for
the correctional institutions under the jurisdiction of respective
Headquarters. These are conducted in such a way that the senior officials
from the respective offices inspect the institutions, monitor the treatment
conditions, and provide proper guidance for the institutions. The results of
the former inspection are reported to the Minister of Justice and those of
the latter are reported to the Director-General of the Correction Bureau.
The issues which the inspectors pointed out to be improved have been
In relation to the complaint procedures, a juvenile placed in a correctional institution may use administrative remedies such as a petition, reporting of human rights violation, etc., and judicial remedies such as a civil suit, a complaint and an accusation of criminal procedure, etc.
Moreover, the superintendent of the Juvenile Training School shall endeavor to interview juveniles from time to time in order to hear their statements on their treatment or personal affairs (Article 4 of the Juvenile Training School Treatment Regulations). At the time of this interview, a juvenile may make complaints on treatment. As instructors of the Juvenile Training School are always trying to have contact with juveniles with tender care and grasp the mental conditions of juveniles, they may consult with the instructors without feeling any constraint and express their opinions freely.
In the penal institution, opportunities are provided to have an interview with the warden for treatment or personal affairs (Article 9 of the Prison Law Enforcement Regulations), in which juveniles can make complaints. Also, if an inmate is dissatisfied with the dispositions of the prison, he may petition to the competent Minister of Justice or an official visiting the prison for inspection (Article 7 of the Prison Law).
In regard to Juvenile Classification Homes, since the term of detention is rather short, a system to deal with petitions on treatment in Homes is not provided in the respective laws and regulations. However, the same considerations as in Juvenile Training Schools such as free consultation with staff, opportunity for petition, reflection of juveniles' opinion on their life and treatment, etc. are practically provided.
(b-5) Regular review of children's conditions
311. See Paragraph 196.
(b-6) Education and health care services
312. Juvenile Training Schools have education facilities and equipment such
as classrooms to provide lower/upper secondary school education and
education to enable juveniles to take the eligibility for the
University Entrance Qualification Examination; books (e.g. textbooks),
equipment and stationery; laboratories, machines, vehicles, materials and
tools for practical training to improve vocational skill and obtain
qualifications for a specific career; computer and laboratories for
supporting school education and acquiring a job qualification, etc. As a
part of efforts to assure learning opportunities for juveniles in Juvenile
Classification Homes, computers for learning are also being provided in all
Juvenile Classification Homes.
In addition to education programs such as curriculum-based school education, correspondence courses, and life guidance, the Juvenile Prison provides guidance specialized for a certain group of law offenders including stimulant drug abusers and Boryokudan members, or gang members, and is equipped with classrooms, books, including textbooks, equipment and stationery used for such programs. It also provides various vocational training which enable inmates to obtain official licenses/qualifications for a specific career, or special vocational skills, and for this purpose, it is also equipped with training facilities and equipment for such training.
As for medical care, Juvenile Training Schools and Juvenile Classification Homes have full-time or part-time doctors and are equipped with medical facilities for primary care to provide treatment for juveniles. Among juveniles in Juvenile Training Schools, those who need special treatment will be accommodated in Medical Juvenile Training Schools that are staffed and equipped with full-time doctors and medical facilities for treatment and examinations for such treatment. In the case where an juvenile suffers from an emergency illness or disease, treatment will be given at an outside medical institution.
Juvenile Prisons are also staffed with full-time or part-time doctors and adequate treatment is given, upon the inmate's request, on the basis of a proper examination. Those who need special treatment or are in need of long-term treatment will be accommodated in Medical Prisons and other prisons, which are capable of providing intensive care to receive treatment. All possible measures are taken to provide sufficient medical care, so that an inmate may go to or stay in an outside special medical institution when necessary.
(b-7) Ensuring that every child deprived of liberty has the following rights
313. Guarantee of the right to meet defense attorneys or attendants is as described in Paragraph 279 by the Initial Report of Japan. Furthermore, in consideration of the importance of the meeting with defense attorneys or attendants in judicial proceedings, inmates are also permitted to meet them on a non-working day under certain conditions in every correctional institution.
(b-8) Information on the overall situation, as well as on the percentage of cases where legal or other assistance has been provided, and where the legality of the deprivation of liberty has been confirmed. Disaggregated data on the children concerned
(Reference) Number of persons who made interlocutory appeal to the protective measures
|Year||Total number of protective measures being ruled (total number of transfer to the reformatory being ruled)||Interlocutory appeal|
|Number of people||Ratio (%)|
|1994||58,308 (4,064)||392||0.7 (9.6)|
|1995||55,473 (3,891)||372||0.7 (9.6)|
|1996||56,092 (4,300)||452||0.8 (10.5)|
|1997||59,648 (5,082)||565||0.9 (11.1)|
|1998||60,373 (5,485)||604||1.0 (11.0)|
|1999||59,936 (5,577)||661||1.1 (11.9)|
|2000||58,176 (6,161)||792||1.4 (12.9)|
*Ratio in parenthesis indicates the number of persons who filed interlocutory appeals to the total number of transfers to the reformatory that is being ruled.
*"Interlocutory appeal" includes the appeals filed against the ruling of quasi-juvenile protection cases.
(c) The Sentencing of Juveniles, and particularly, the Prohibition of Capital Punishment and Life imprisonment (Article. 37 (a))
314. Article 51, Paragraph 1 of the revised Juvenile Law provides that "in
case a person who is under 18 years of age at the
time of committing of an offense is to be punished with death penalty,
he/she shall be sentenced to life imprisonment." And Paragraph 2 of the same
Article provides that "in case he/she is to be punished with imprisonment
for life, he/she can be sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor for
not less than 10 years but not more than 15 years." In addition, Article 58
provides that a person under 20 years of age at the time of sentence of life
imprisonment shall be eligible for parole in 7 years, except for the case of
the above mentioned Article 51,Paragraph 1, or in the case that a person who
is under 18 years of age at the time of committing of an offense is to be
punished with death penalty, the person shall be sentenced to life
imprisonment). And it also stipulates that in the case of Article 51,
Paragraph 1 or in the case that a person is over 20 years of age at the time
of sentence, the person concerned shall be eligible for parole in 10 years.
In this way, according to our administration of justice concerning
juveniles, no person under 18 years of age shall receive death penalty or
lifetime sentence without the possibility of release.
Article 51 of the Juvenile Law before its revision provided that "if a person who is under 18 years of age commits a crime is to be punished with the death penalty, he/she shall be sentenced to life imprisonment, and it a person is to be punished with the latter, he/she shall be sentenced to imprisonment with or without labor for not less than 10 years but not more than 15 years." And as for life imprisonment, it also stipulated that a person under 20 years of age shall be eligible for parole in 7 years and a person over 20 years of age shall be eligible for parole in 10 years. However, the Juvenile Law was revised in such a way that the court could decide whether to impose life imprisonment or imprisonment for a definite term. When a person who is under 18 years of age at the time of commission of an offense is to be punished with the death penalty and the sentence is reduced to life imprisonment and if the period until which he/she is ineligible for provisional release is reduced, it leads to that the penalty is doubly reduced. This double reduction of penalty allows a prisoner who should be originally subject to the death penalty to return to society in quite a short period of time, which is considered to be inappropriate in view of balance between of crime and penalty, the sentiment of the injured party and the Japanese people. Therefore, it is decided that the special provision is not to be applied to the term of provisional release when death penalty is commuted to life imprisonment.
(d) Physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child
(Protection of the juvenile victims)
315. In April 1999, The National Police Agency established the Office for
Protection of Juveniles in its Juvenile Division in order to consolidate the
juvenile protection. The Office plays a the major role in protecting the
The Juvenile Support Centers, which are placed at prefectural police for juvenile victims of crimes, promote counseling activities through juvenile counseling specialists and guidance officials as well as assistance activities in cooperation with parents guardians and other persons concerned.
The police conduct location and protection activities for runaway persons. With regard to runaway juveniles who could be in danger of death or injury or of becoming victims of welfare crime, the police are making intense efforts to find and protect them early. Particularly, as the number of runaway cases is expected to increase at the times of the year, that is just before entering school or employment when children become psychologically unstable or during the summer vacation when they gain a greater sense of freedom, the police step up protective activities, focusing on runaway children.
(Reference) Number of runaway juveniles found and protected by the police
|Runaway children found by the police||26,139||27,649||26,957||25,372|
(Care provided under the Child Welfare Law)
316. With regard to juveniles who violate penal laws, care is given at Support Facilities for Development of Self-sustaining Capacity in order to achieve physical and psychological recovery according to the condition of the child.
(a) Economic exploitation of children (including child labor) (Article. 32)
(a-1) Economic exploitation of children (including child labor) (Article. 32)
(Prohibition of economic exploitation)
317. The Labor Standards Law prohibits employers from forcing workers to work against their will by means of violence, intimidation, imprisonment, or any other unfair restraint on the mental or physical freedom of the workers. And it also provides that, unless permitted by law, no person shall obtain profit by intervening in the employment of others, as business.
(Engaging in work that is hazardous or is likely to interfere with children's education, or to be harmful to children's health or physical, mental, spiritual or social development)
318. The Labor Standards Law prohibits employing persons 18 full years of
age in such activities as: dangerous work, work involving the handling of
heavy materials, work in places which are dangerous or injurious to safety,
health or welfare, or labor in the mine. The scope of dangerous or injurious
work is specifically provided for in the Regulations on Child Labor
Moreover, the Fundamental Law of Education provides that those persons who employ children must not prevent children from receiving compulsory education because of the employment.
(Prohibited Activities in Entertainment Business, etc.)
319. Article 34 of the Child Welfare Law prohibits employers from having
persons under 15 full years of age engage in singing and performing on the
street or in other places as well as serve at a party. The said Law also
prohibits the act of placing a child under control with the aim of making
the child perform such acts that have injurious effects on his/her mind or
With regard to the Law on the control over and improvement of amusement and entertainment businesses, See Paragraph 288 of the Initial Report of Japan.
(Injurious Businesses considered as Welfare Crimes)
320. Regarding as welfare abuse, exploitation, and other offenses that harm
the welfare of juveniles or have malignant influence on juveniles, the
police utilize 25 laws and ordinances with provisions against the
aforementioned crimes, such as the Child Welfare Law, the Labor Standards
Law, the Employment Security Law, the Prostitution Prevention Law, the Law
on Control and Improvement of Amusement Businesses.
Particularly, with regard to the protection of juveniles from harmful work, the police are enforcing continuous regulations under the relevant laws. They also provide protection for juveniles who have been in harmful environments, by engaging in dangerous work or sex industries. For those juveniles victims, the police conduct counseling activities by juvenile counseling specialists and guidance officials to reduce their psychological or physical damage and promote their early recovery.
(Reference) Number of Arrests of Welfare Crime Offenders related to
Protection of Children from Harmful Environments
(Number of persons)
|Labor Standards Law||281||349||303||158||115|
|Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement Businesses||1062||1018||856||937||506|
*Persons arrested under the Labor Standards Law were on charges of employment under the minimum age; employment of juveniles in night work; and employment of juveniles in dangerous jobs, etc.
*Persons arrested under the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement Businesses were on charges of employing juveniles to receive and wait on customers in the amusement and entertainment industry.
(Inspection and Guidance conducted by the Labor Standards Inspection Office)
321. The Labor Standards Law provides that labor standards inspectors are
authorized to inspect workplaces and to conduct questioning of employers and
workers. Through these activities, the Labor Standards Inspection Office
provides supervision and guidance to ensure the observance of laws.
On the other hand, the said Law also stipulates that in the event that there exists a violation of this Law at a workplace, a worker may report such fact to the administrative office or to a labor standards inspector.
In addition, employers are obligated to propagate the content of the laws and ordinances to employees so that employees will know the contents of the Labor Standards Law.
322. In Japan, the national government and local government have established public human resources development facilities based on the Human Resources Development Promotion Law, and been providing vocational training. Junior high school graduates are provided with long-term vocational training with the aim of attaining the basic techniques and knowledge required to become a worker with various knowledge and techniques in the future.
(a-2) Measures adopted in consideration of the relevant provisions of international instruments
(Minimum employment age for workers)
323. The Labor Standards Law provides that children shall not be employed as workers before March 31 of the school year to which the day following his/her 15th birthday belongs. (See, II. B. Paragraph 65.)
(Working Hours and Conditions)
324. The Labor Law stipulates that a person under 18 full years of age
shall not be subject to provisions about flexible working hours system,
overtime work, work on rest days, working hours and rest. Furthermore, with
regard to a child over 15 full years of age, who may be employed with
permission from administrative offices, the child shall not work more than 7
hours a day, to a total of 40 hours per week including study hours at school
before March 31 of the school year to which the day following his/her 15th
birthday belongs. In addition, late-night work (from 10pm to 5am) by persons
under 18 full years of age is prohibited.
With regard to safety and health matters, the Labor Standards Law stipulates that employers shall not employ persons below 18 full years of again such activities as: dangerous work, work involving the handling of heavy materials, work in places which are dangerous or injurious to safety, health or welfare, or underground labor.
(Penalties, Inspection System, and Petition Proceedings)
325. The Labor Standards Law stipulates that violators of this Law shall be subject to imprisonment or penalty. See Paragraph 321.
326. See Paragraph 319.
(International Conventions Japan has Acceded)
327. Among the relevant international conventions Japan has acceded, the
following is closely related to children in particular.
The ILO convention concerning the minimum age for admission to employment (ILO Convention 138), The ILO Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (ILO Convention 182)
(b) Drug Abuse (Article. 33)
(b-1) Protecting children from drug and psychotropic substances as defined in related international conventions
328. Japan has concluded drug-related conventions as follows:
The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961
The Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971
The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988
(b-2) Preventing the use of children from the illicit production of psychotropic substances
(Cooperation with the United Nations Drug Control Program)
329. Japan has given continuous cooperation to the United Nations
International Drug Control Program (UNDCP), an international anti-drug
organization, not only financially but also in terms of human resources.
Delinquencies related to misconduct drug abuse, stimulant drugs and cannabis are frequently taking place and the Japanese mafia, that is called Boryokudan or Yakuza, are aggravating delinquencies by smuggling such drugs as defined in international conventions organic solvents in particular, e.g. paint thinner, to juvenile drug abusers to acquire funds for their activities.
Since the juvenile drug abuse, involving the abuse of stimulant drugs or paint thinner, still stands in a serious situation, the Government is promoting comprehensive measures such as implementing strict control over drug trafficking routes including drug dealers, detecting juvenile drug abusers at the earliest stage possible, strengthening cooperation with relevant organizations including schools, and promoting public relations and awareness-raising activities, in order to prevent drug abuse of juveniles.
330. The police are making collective efforts to prevent aggravating
juvenile drug abuse, with the aim of "cutting off supply routes" and
"eliminating drug demand."
Firstly, as for "cutting off supply routes," the police are implementing strict control over illicit trafficking of drug abusers by strengthening cooperation with relevant organizations, are making efforts to regulate the supply source thoroughly by way of cracking down on foreign on the drug dealers etc.
Secondly, as for "eliminating drug demand," the police are thoroughly conducting arrest of end users endeavoring to find and put such juveniles into custody through protective custody activities on the street or juvenile counseling; and are making efforts to help juveniles recover at an early stage continuously providing protective custody measures, as necessary.
In order for juveniles to have correct perception of the harmfulness and dangerousness of drug abuse, the police are making use of a loudspeaker car for an anti-drug campaign and are active in holding "anti-drug abuse lessons," while providing broad public relations and awareness-raising activities to schools and local societies.
In 2000, 1,137 juveniles were arrested for stimulant drug related offenses, 102 juveniles for marijuana related offenses and 3,417 juveniles for organic solvents (such as paint thinner) related offenses. The number of juveniles arrested for stimulant drug related offenses saw an increase for the first time in the last 3 years from 1997. Particularly significant is the increase in the number of arrests among junior or senior high school students, indicating that the actual status of juvenile drug abuse remains serious.
(Establishment of a Five-year Drug Abuse Prevention Strategy)
331. In January 1997, in view of the worsening drug situation, the Cabinet
decided to upgrade the status of the Headquarters for Promotion of Measures
to Prevent Drug Abuse, which was established at the Prime Minister's Office
and chaired by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, designated one chaired by the
Prime Minister as Chair and by transferring it to the Cabinet.
In May 1998, the Headquarters launched a "Five-year Drug Abuse Prevention Strategy" outlining the objectives Japan was to attain in the coming five years, in order to promote, among concerned ministries and government agencies, anti-drug abuse measures for the people including juveniles. The basic objective of this strategy is to implement "Urgent measures for early ending of the Third Postwar Peak in Stimulant Drug Abuse" and "International contribution to solve the global problem of drug abuse." Its specific objectives are as follows: "to stop the juvenile's tendency forward drug abuse by making young people, making secondary school students aware of the danger of drug abuse," "to implement strict control over Boryokudan gangs and foreigners' drug trafficking syndicates by taking proper measures against the increasingly sophisticated trafficking," "to take measures to prevent drugs from entering Japan at the borders and to promote international cooperation in supporting regulatory activities in drug producing areas," and "to prevent the return to drug abuse, by assistin g in medical care for addicts and people suffering from dependence on drugs and by promoting their rehabilitation." As for specific measures, public relations and awareness-raising activities are being conducted by probation officers, etc. in a crime prevention campaign called the "Movement for a Brighter Society."
(Anti-drug abuse education at schools)
332. The Government gives instruction to the prefectural Board of
Educations to hold "anti-drug abuse lessons" under the guidance of external
specialists, for instance police officers, at all secondary schools and high
schools at least once a year and to deal with this issue in close
cooperation with local communities. In addition, the general curriculum
guidelines revised in 1998, called the Courses of Study newly provide that
physical education (in the area of health education) at elementary school
should include guidance on the prevention of smoking, drinking and drug
The government is also implementing the following measures; conducting a survey on juveniles awareness of drug abuse, promoting anti-drug abuse lessons, preparing and distributing educational materials and pamphlets for pupils and students, preparing and distributing reference materials and videos to teachers, holding seminars for teachers, public relations and awareness-raising activities by making use of large monitors at arenas, holding symposia, opening a website, promoting practical research in designated areas, etc.
(Anti-drug abuse education at Juvenile Training Schools and other correctional institutions)
333. Juvenile Prisons are providing guidance according to the types of
treatment, by classifying inmates onto groups belonging to the same type of
treatment, paying attention to criminal behavior and elements which caused
crime. Guidance for preventing stimulant drug abuse is provided as part of
In Juvenile Training Schools, guidance on problem behavior is provided as a part of life guidance to solve juveniles' personal problems and to foster sound perspective, thinking and attitude, thereby giving the inmates guidance in awareness of bad conduct and problems concerning their attitude and conduct. As guidance by juveniles' problem type, a class deals with drug problems, including group discussions and using audio-visual materials.
In addition, measures against drug reabuse such as education on drug abuse in order to acquire proper knowledge concerning drugs are implemented for juvenile probationers and juvenile training school parolees who committed drug offenses.
Probation offices are working to consolidate anti-drug abuse measures to juvenile probationers and juvenile training school parolees, by strengthening cooperation with relevant organizations including medical institutions and private organizations such as self-help groups for drug addicts.
(b-3) Effects of measures taken to prevent the use by children of alcohol, tobacco and other substances which may be harmful to their health.
334. Since it has been pointed out that problem behavior such as drinking,
smoking or going out at night is often repeatedly conducted before serious
delinquencies are actually committed, proper measures are to be conducted at
the stage of such problem behavior.
When the police find juveniles drinking or smoking, they give warning and guidance to them. In case that a distributor sells alcohol or tobacco to a juvenile, knowing that the juvenile will drink or smoke it, the police implement proper control based on the relevant law.
In December 2000, the revised Law on the Prohibition of Minors' Drinking Alcohol and the Law on the Prohibition of Minors' Smoking whose provisions include rise of penalty etc., were enforced in order to contribute to sound and healthy growth of children by prohibiting them from drinking or smoking.
In cooperation with relevant ministries, the government is making approaches to the distributors to give due consideration to the sound growth of juveniles, while promoting public relations and awareness-raising activities to prevent juvenile drinking and smoking in cooperation with related organizations and groups.
(Healthy Japan 21)
335. In April 2000, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare launched the
campaign for "Building a Healthy Japan in the 21st Century" aiming at
"eradicating juvenile smoking and drinking" by fiscal year 2010, and intends
to promote this campaign as a national campaign while inviting the
municipalities and private sector to participate in the future.
In December 2000, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, together with the National Police Agency and the Ministry of Finance, issued a notice to liquor distributors and tobacco distributors to pay consideration to selling such products face-to-face in order to prevent juvenile smoking and drinking.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is intends to step up efforts to realize the target of "eradicating juvenile drinking and smoking" while providing accurate information about the effects of smoking and drinking on health and raising national debate on such issues, by utilizing all possible measures such as symposia, pamphlets, and the Internet.
(c) Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Article 34)
(c-1) Enlightenment and education campaign
336. See Paragraphs 91 and 93.
With the enactment of the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children, the Ministry of Justice has been carrying information about the said Law on its website. In addition, seminars for prosecutors are repeatedly held under such themes as "Enactment of the Child Prostitution Prevention Law and consideration for children and women" to further consideration for the rights of children through these seminars.
The police have launched public relations and awareness-raising activities through various advertising media such as distributing posters or leaflets, with the aim of preventing sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. In addition, with the enactment of the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children, the National Police Agency carry its contents and the English translation on its website and through various advertising media implement public relations and awareness-raising activities on the said law. Training sessions and education concerning dissemination of the said Law and prevention of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse are also provided for police personnel.
(c-2) Domestic measures
(Laws on preventing sexual exploitation)
337. For the prevention of exploitive use of children in sex business, the
Low for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography,
and for Protecting Children and stipulates that the following acts are
subject to the punishment: procurement, prostitution through embarrassment,
contract to have a person prostitute, offering of a place for prostitution
and business of having a person prostitute and provision of funds for
prostitution. Child prostitution, procurement of child prostitution, or
solicitation of child prostitution is subject to punishment under the Law
for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and
for Protecting Children. Moreover, the Child Welfare Law stipulates that the
act of having a child make an indent behavior and that of keeping a child in
custody with the aim of making the child perform such act that has injurious
effects on the child's mind and body.
For the prevention of exploitive use of children in obscene performance and articles, the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children stipulates that the act of distributing of child pornography and its production for purpose of distributing are subject to punishment. The Penal Code stipulates that such acts as public display and distribution of obscene literature, etc. are subject to punishment. The Child Welfare Law stipulates that the act of keeping a child under one's control for the purpose of inducing it to do certain acts having harmful effects on its body and soul shall be punished.
The Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement Businesses prohibits proprietors of attraction businesses showing nude persons for enticing sexual curiosity from having persons under 18 years of age engaged in meeting with guests. Those who have violated the law are subject to punishment thereunder.
Prefectural ordinances concerning the protection and fostering of young persons (So called Municipal Ordinances on Juvenile Protection) stipulate the prohibition of obscene and indecent acts against young persons, and these ordinances are promulgated based on the actual situation of each region. The Government is thus promoting the effective application of these ordinances.
The police classify crimes that harm the welfare of children as "welfare offenses," including sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, and conduct continued control of such "welfare offenses" as including sexual exploitation and sex abuse of children over these crimes. While protecting children in harmful environments, for instance those involved in dangerous work or in the sex business, the juvenile guidance officials and counseling specialists give counseling to child victims of these acts ease their mental damage and help them recover promptly.
The National Police Agency has launched the regulation of telephone clubs, which are recognized as hotbeds of child prostitution, under the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Businesses.
As mentioned in Paragraph 4, Japan has launched the "National Action Plan Against Commercial and Sexual Exploitation."
(Reference) Welfare Offenses Arrested for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
(Number of persons)
|Child Welfare Law (Indecent acts)||332||385||392||443||251|
|Prostitution Prevention Law||321||224||184||147||121|
|Juvenile Protection Municipal Ordinances (Indecent acts)||2,781||2,493||2,583||2,521||1,334|
(The Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children)
338. The Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child
Pornography, and for Protecting Children criminalizes such activities as
child prostitution; intermediation or solicitation in child prostitution;
distribution, sale or display of child pornography; production, possession,
import or export of child pornography for the purpose of distribution;
trading in a child for the purpose of child prostitution or production of
child pornography; transporting a child who resided in a foreign country and
has been sold or bought out of that country. A Japanese national who
commits any of the acts mentioned above outside Japan is also punishable.
The same law stipulates that those who are officially involved in investigations or trials relating to those crimes shall, in performing their official duties, give consideration to the rights and characteristics of children (Article12). In conducting hearings, the police do so in a way which would ease the mental burden of child victims who suffer mental anguish, giving consideration not only to children's personal characteristics but also to characteristics of the offenses. Specifically, those who are suited for this work, include female officers, are appointed to deal with such children; when necessary, hearing are conducted, reterring to the opinion of experts on the mental and physical conditions of child victims or female officers attend hearings, depending on the manner offenses, conditions of child victims. Moreover, prior to or during questioning, juvenile counseling specialists and guidance officials who have expertise regarding the psychology, physiology and other characters of children or the treatment of children provide counseling for child victims. When conducting an investigation, the police and prosecutors give due consideration to the mental and physical damage the children suffered from such crimes their other mental conditions, as well as to the time and the frequency of interviews in order to avoid hindrance to their school education. Furthermore, depending on both of nature of the case and the personal characteristics the victim child, consideration is given so that female police officers or parents may escort the child on his/her way to and from prosecutors office, and that female prosecutors or assistant may conduct an interview with the child. "The Law partially amending the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Law for the Inquest of Prosecution" was enacted on 12 May 2000. This law introduced; (1) the system of allowing the witness to be accompanied by an appropriate person when a victim of sexual crime, a child, etc. is examined as a witness. This seeks to ease the witness' mental and psychological burden (provided by Article 157-2) (2) a system of allowing the witness to testify behind a screen so that he/she can not to be seen by the accused and/or the spectators (provided by Article 157-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure) (3) the system of video links in which the witness who is allowed to be in a separate room is examined through a TV monitor (Article 157-4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). The court will conduct a trial by using the provisions mentioned above to give careful consideration to children.
In the year of 2000, 1155 cases were cleared and 777 suspects were arrested under the law. Of these, 985 cases and 613 suspects were for child prostitution cases, 170 cases and 164 suspects were child pornography, and 143 cases and 85 suspects were Internet-related.
(The Child Abuse Prevention Law)
339. With the increase of consultations on child abuse including sexual abuse, child abuse is growing into a serious problem. Therefore, the Child Abuse Prevention Law was implemented in November 2000 and promotes measures such as early detection/response and appropriate protection for abused children.
(Consolidating the counseling system)
340. Public concern over the problem of sexual exploitation of children has
been growing in Japan. Considering the issue too serious a problem to be
ignored, the human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice have endeavored
to consolidate their system of counseling services through "Counseling Rooms
for Children," "Children's Rights Dial 110" and the like.
Where the organs find that there is an incident of child sexual exploitation, the organs make every effort to solve the problem by trying to remedy the child victim and educating the exploiter and persons involved about respect for human rights.
341. It is stipulated in the Child Welfare Law and the Child Abuse Prevention Law that the Superintendent of the Child Guidance Center may give temporary protection to children when necessary, and Commissioned Child Welfare Volunteers may conduct a spot inspection at the domiciles of Juveniles.
(Relevant International Conventions)
342. Japan has acceded to the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic
in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others and the
International Convention for the Suppression of the Circulation of and
Traffic in Obscene Publications.
As a convention related to sexual exploitation and sexual abuse (Article 34) and sale, trafficking and abduction (Article 35), the Government intends to consider the conclusion of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, with a view to protecting and promoting the rights of children.
The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (adopted at the 55th U.N. General Assembly) -- along with the above-mentioned convention, is aimed at establishing a universal and effective legal framework for promoting cooperation in preventing and combating trafficking in persons, including women and children of transborder nature and for protecting victims of trafficking. In particular, it obliges States Parties to criminalize the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of children for the purpose of exploitation including prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, irrespective of whichever mean is taken for these acts. The scope of criminalization is wider than that for adults and accordingly the Protocol provides for greater protection of children. Japan signed the convention on Dec. 12, 2000, and will proceed to the preparation for its conclusion as soon as possible including examination of necessary domestic legal measures. The government also undertakes necessary consideration of the Protocol, bearing in mind its purpose, on such matters as its contents and consistency with domestic legislation.
(Ensuring rehabilitation and improvement)
343. For abused children accommodated in Children's Homes, the Government is providing treatment according to the condition of the children. For example, in case that an abused child's mental damage is so severe that he/she needs psychological treatment, a psychotherapist therapist provides such treatment.
(Number of consultations at Child Guidance Center)
344. The number of consultations processed at the Child Guidance Center was
11,631 in 1999, including 590 consultations on sexual abuse.
The number of children who were victims of child prostitution or child pornography, etc. and underwent counseling at the Child Guidance Center reached 210 in the period from November 1999 to December 2000.
(Second World Congress Against Commercial and Sexual Exploitation)
345. See Paragraph 5.
Prior to this congress, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs drew up a national action plan, stipulating the Government's measures against commercial and sexual exploitation of children, and published it on its website.
(d) Sale, trafficking and abduction (Article 35)
(d-1) Measures taken to prevent the selling, buying or trading of children
346. Japan has been party to the Convention for the Suppression of the
Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.
With regard to human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, the
Government is promoting an investigative and judicial cooperation and an
exchange of information on contraventions of the Convention among the
signatory states. Concerning the domestic laws, the Penal Code punishes
kidnapping of a person for the purpose of profit or obscenity, as well as
selling and buying a person for the purpose of transporting him/her
overseas. The Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and
Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children, which was enacted on 1
November, 1999, stipulates that a person who buys or sells a child for the
purpose of prostitution or production of pornography, and a Japanese
national who transports a child, resident in a foreign country out of that
country who has been abducted, kidnapped, sold or bought, for any of the
purposes mentioned above, shall be punished. For crimes such as these, the
Government is promoting an investigative and judicial cooperation and an
exchange of information with foreign countries.
Article 34 of the Child Welfare Law prohibits the act of transferring custody of a child to a person who is feared of committing a criminal act against the child.
(Training sessions for those at the Prosecutor's Office)
347. The Government has provided training sessions under the theme of "Enactment of the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children and considerations for women and children."
(d-2) Bilateral, multilateral, or international agreements for preventing the purchase or sale of children.
348. See Paragraph 342 of this report.
(e) Other forms of exploitation (Article 36)
(Excluding the influence of Boryokudan on juveniles)
349. As mentioned above, Article 34 of the Child Welfare Law prohibits the
act of keeping a child under one's control for the purpose of inducing it to
do certain acts having harmful effects on its body and soul.
Moreover, as mentioned in Paragraph 302 of the Initial report, the Law Concerning Prevention of Unjust Acts by Boryokudan (or the "Anti-Boryokudan Law") prohibits Boryokudan members from forcing juveniles to join Boryokudan or to undergo tattooing.
By applying these regulations, a discontinuance order to a designated Boryokudan member who forced a 15 year old boy to join Boryokudan was issued (February, 2000: Hokkaido); an order to a Boryokudan member who prevented a 16 year old boy from withdrawing was issued (July, 2000: Kumamoto). The protection of juveniles from Boryokudan is attempted thereby.
(Reference) The number of injunction Orders enforced based on the
between 1996 to 2000
|Forced admission, prevention of withdrawing||58||36||53||51||50|
|Forcing to tattoo||2|
(Note: Boryokudan, or an anti-social group indigenous to Japan, which is commonly called as "Yakuza," is defined by the Law as "any organization likely to facilitate its members to collectively or habitually commit illegal acts of violence.")
In 2000, the number of juveniles victims of welfare crimes in which Boryokudan and the like were involved has reached 967, which is 11.7% of the total number of juvenile victims of welfare crimes.
It revealed the fact that Boryokudan and the like are involved in highly malignant crimes such as drug trafficking or prostitution of girls and the like.
In order to exclude the influence of Boryokudan and the like on juveniles the police are implementing measures such as: regulating welfare crimes in which Boryokudan and the like are involved; helping juvenile Boryokudan member to withdraw from Boryokudan; and preventing juveniles from joining Boryokudan.
350. See Paragraph 93.
In Human Rights Week (held annually for one week from December 4 to 10), the human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice hold a campaign with the slogan "Deepen an Understanding of Ainu People" as one of the priority themes for promotional activities across the country and carry out various awareness raising activities in order to impress upon the people the importance of recognizing and deepening an understanding of Ainu people, preserving their culture, and respecting their dignity.
(Measures to ensure the rights provided under the conventions)
351. See Paragraphs 90-93.
(Progress and problems)
352. Among human rights infringement cases involving minority races and native groups the human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice have handled, there have been cases of slandering and defaming Ainu people and discriminating against them in marriage. The organs have been actively engaged in combatting such abuses through providing human rights counseling services, investigating and dealing with those human rights infringement cases.