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Old 2021-06-09, 20:02   Link #21
Moving in circles
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 46
^ The predictable response.

I stand by what I said.

The DOJ did a study, basing it presumably on official rape and sex crime statistics, and then correlated it with the volume of pornographic content, and came to the conclusion there is no link.

But, you then have at least one study by a native Japanese scholar who claims, not unreasonably, that official data on rape and sex crime in Japan may not be reliable, and there is a good chance that many cases are going unreported.

So, the first thing to note is that it's reasonable to be sceptical about the DOJ's conclusion. Do we really know for sure that their conclusion is sound? I don't mean by that the DOJ study was outright wrong. Rather, I would urge caution in making such a sweeping conclusion, and wonder if there are more factors at play that led to the apparent results.

Correlation is not causation and I'm well aware that there are a whole slew of other possibilities to consider. Neither do I believe that more porn means more violent sex crimes because, well, the data, however limited, doesn't bear it out.

But at a time when many people are calling out the woeful normalisation of sexual harassment and racist language and behaviour, I do think it's hypocritical to not also think about how pornography normalises the way people think about sex and sexual relationships, especially in places where formal sexual education is poor or lacking.

And I also think such a discussion is relevant in the context of this thread, which asks whether the portrayal of rape in anime and manga reflects the reality of everyday Japanese, hence the reason I brought it up.
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Old 2021-06-09, 21:58   Link #22
Moving in circles
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 46
Anyway, back to the other stories that I'd found.

I had wondered earlier about what exactly was changed in 2017, in the legal definition of rape in Japan. And this is interesting:

Some rape victims not covered by Japanese law that disregards gender diversity
Tokyo (April 3, 2021): The 2017 amendments to the Penal Code in Japan increased the severity of penalties for sexual crimes and expanded the gender of rape victims from being limited to women to include men. However, LGBTQ individuals and intellectuals have pointed out that the current law still far from matches the reality of actual damage, including that of sexual minorities, and that this has led to the underestimation of damage to some rape victims.

In 2017, the Penal Code was amended to change the name of the "crime of rape" to the "crime of forcible sexual intercourse", and to define the crime as having vaginal, anal or oral intercourse with a person aged at least 13 by means of assault or intimidation, and doing the same to a person under 13 years old. At the same time, the gender of the victim, which had been limited to women, was removed, so that anyone can be recognised as a victim, regardless of gender.

But the interpretation of the law that only the act of inserting genitalia constitutes sexual intercourse has not changed after the amendment. The law provides that the act of inserting a hand, finger, or object into another person's body through assault or intimidation is considered the "crime of forcible indecency", and the statutory penalty is set at a lighter level of "imprisonment for not less than six months but not more than 10 years" compared to "imprisonment for a definite term of not less than five years" for the crime of forcible sexual intercourse.

Shoko Usami, a sexual minority and survivor of sexual violence who is currently involved in victim support, is one of those who strongly question this interpretation of the law.

You can follow the link to read further about Ms Usami's unfortunate experience of being sexually abused by her former boyfriend, a transgender man who was female at birth.

So, I was wrong about Japanese law on this point, and in fact the penal code reform in 2017 was quite progressive and long overdue. It expanded the range of violent behaviours that can be legally defined as rape. And that therefore increases the chance of prosecution and, hopefully, conviction.

I'm not so sure, though, about whether the definition of rape should be further expanded, as per what some victims and groups are calling for. Ms Usami said, in the article, that she "came to strongly feel that the current legal system, which does not recognise damage caused by anything other than male genitalia as rape, does not envision the diversity of sexuality and covers up the reality of damage caused by LGBTQ perpetrators".

That aside, this is another story that reinforces the view that rape and sex crimes are more prevalent in Japan than official numbers seem to suggest.

More helpfully, it explains what changed in 2017 that led to the apparent increase in rape and sex-crime numbers. It's not that there were suddenly more rapists and sex offenders, but rather that the system was changed, and more victims finally felt safe enough to report the crime.
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