Japanese students petition to raise age of consent from 13 to 16

Your Voice Matters, a student group of Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan, gathered over 40.000 signatures in favour of raising the age of consent from 13 to 16. They submitted the petition to Japan’s Justice Ministry last Friday. With the petition, they also hope to gain attention to issues like insufficient sexual education.

According to AgeOfConsent ‘The age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity.’

With most countries’ age of consent between 16-18 years old, Japan has among the lowest ages of consent worldwide. The petition informs that the age of consent in Japan hasn’t changed for 100 years despite calls form the international society.


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Een bericht gedeeld door Your Voice Matters (@feminisminjapan)

By raising the age of consent, the organisations hope to solve the issues surrounding the age of consent in Japan. They state that ‘the majority of teenagers in Japan do not learn how old they should be legally responsible for their sexual acts and what sexual consent is in the first place.’ Hinting that sexual education in Japan contributes to the problem.

The petition also questions the legal practices surrounding rape. To charge someone for the rape of a teenager over 13, the victim must provide proof of threats by explaining the events. ‘He or she would be legally required to prove violence and threats they received and how much they rejected, which must be too much for a teenager,’ reads the petition.

Text: Lisa Poppe, photo: Niek Verlaan via Pixabay