Students submit petition to raise age of consent from 13 to 16


A 21-year-old senior at Kwansei Gakuin University in Hyogo Prefecture who is a member of the group said she had not realized the age of consent was set so low until she began studying the issue in university.


“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.”


Anyone having sex with a minor under 13 can be arrested for statutory rape under the Criminal Law, but charging someone with sex crimes for having intercourse with a person over the age of 13 requires proof of violent action or threats.


Moreover, the victim must explain the extent to which they resisted in order to bring a charge of sexual assault.


The petition stated that current curriculum guidelines for junior high school do not call for teaching about sexual intercourse, meaning students may not be fully informed about what constitutes sexual assault.