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Discussing sex crimes and Japan’s ‘safety myth’

A selection of online and email responses to Rachel Halle’s Foreign Agenda column, which appeared in print on Dec. 9:

Safety myth applies to whom?

Japan is indeed a quite safe country — if you are a straight male. If not, then the “safety Japan” myth quickly falls apart, especially if you happen to be an Asian female.

Between incredible levels of under-/non-reporting by authorities, police being uninterested in investigating cases of sexual assault, victim-blaming and the social stigma of being raped, it really cannot be said that Japan is a safe country for women. Sure, you’re less likely to be the subject of a violent mugging at knife point like you may be in London, but you’re many orders of magnitude more likely to be molested or otherwise sexually assaulted.
RON NJ

Ron NJ, while I agree with most of your post, I disagree with this: “Japan is indeed quite a safe country — if you are a straight male.”

Speak for yourself. I am a straight white male and I have been assaulted — and have also watched another white male foreigner get assaulted — in Japan. In neither case did either of us make the first physically aggressive move.

I lived in America, a “dangerous” country, for 14 years. Excluding schoolyard fights, which are inevitable for boys in any country, especially in elementary/middle school, I was never attacked in public, not even a single time.

Am I saying that America is safer than Japan? No. What I am saying is:

• No country, not even Japan, is completely safe. And perhaps Japan’s reputation for being oh-so-safe is a little bit undeserved, because . . .

• Most people who are the victim of a violent crime do not report it in Japan, so the official statistics are wrong.

• As a gaijin [foreigner], crime statistics do not apply. Japan is 98-percent Japanese, and so the crime statistics mostly reflect the likelihood of a Japanese person being the victim of the crime, not a gaijin.

Gaijin stand out in the crowd and are more likely to attract unwanted attention than Japanese people. I would not be surprised if gaijin are assaulted at 10 times the rate of Japanese people. I have many male gaijin friends who have been attacked in “safe” parts of Asia, and many female gaijin friends who have been groped or even date-raped. I cannot give you a specific number, but I have heard of so many assaults and sex offenses directly from the people who experienced them that I cannot believe the official figures, at least in the case of gaijin.

• The statistics are for the countries as a whole, so they need to be taken with a grain of salt. Crime rates vary wildly within a country. I would rather walk through Fairfax, Virginia, at night than Kabukicho, Tokyo, or some of the seedier parts of Osaka like Tobita. And I would rather walk through sleepy, peaceful Izuhara city, Tsushima Island, at night than I would through Detroit.

Which city (or even, which neighborhood) often matters far more than which country. It would be dumb to base any important life decision (such as where to live) on crime statistics for an entire continent or an entire hemisphere. I would argue that doing so for a country is almost as bad.

CHARLES

Why Japan is the weak link

Japan treats [sex assault] victims worse, because Japan tends to be more sexist, more paternal and more slut-shaming than the U.S., U.K. and Europe. As the article points out, Japan doesn’t have enough infrastructure in place to help victims recover, and they are behind in their investigation techniques — this includes things like re-traumatizing the victim by forcing them to recreate the crime, and not allowing victims immediate access to a hospital for a rape kit right away. What’s more, there are no special prosecutors for sex crimes, and the investigators also tend to be men. This is in contrast to the U.S., where they are always women.

As the article noted, the punishment for rape is much less severe; and Japan actually has two different definitions of rape, which is shocking. Rape is rape; there shouldn’t be a distinction, much less a legal one, between “kind of but not rape” and “rape-rape.” In the U.S., all rape is classified as rape, and even though there are terms such as “statutory rape,” all of them carry the same nuance.

Also, Japan tends to be more closed-mouth about sex crimes, because it is generally taboo in Japanese society to speak about sex. The U.S. is still conservative, but it is much more open about that, so victim advocacy and recovery as well as flaws in the system are openly and publicly discussed often. This allows changes in the law that benefit victims, such as California’s new “enthusiastic consent” law. This would never fly in Japan.

Also, in Japan there is a statute of limitations on child molestation. In the U.S., there is not.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

There is an overall tendency for Japan to be weaker in all of these areas. To deny this is to completely deny that there are any cultural or social or political differences between different countries, which is absurd.

To criticize these aspects of Japan is not racism, either, which is something often implied in posts. I have lived here for my entire adult life, love Japan, love the people, and criticize it because I want it to get better, not because I am a racist who only sees the bad.

BLONDEIN_TOKYO

Little has changed in 40 years

Rachel, thank you for having the courage to share your story. I hope you’ve been able to get real support from friends, family and a rape crisis center. Please don’t give up on pursuing the real support you deserve, especially if you have not been able to get it yet. I’m so sorry you were re-victimized by the law-enforcement system in Japan.

I lived in Japan for many years almost 40 years ago. I was an exchange student at a respected university north of Tokyo for my first year there. A fellow exchange student was raped by a stranger (a construction worker working on a not-yet-completed campus building). The student was punished by the administration for having been raped by being kicked out of the program and sent home. When a group of us met with the administration to advocate for our fellow student to be supported and not punished, we were told that they would take our passports away and send us home as well if we pursued the matter further. Unfortunately, we dropped our advocacy efforts at that point.

During the many years I ended up living in Japan, I often heard stories from my students (high school, college and adult) about rapes and sexual assaults they had suffered through with no help available. Some of these criminal attacks were at the hands of strangers, but as is commonly the case in many countries, far more often they were at the hands of relatives or other people known to the survivors.

The vast majority of the students who approached me to share their stories had never told anyone about their victimization previously. The years of holding their pain and ongoing suffering inside due to a culture that pathologizes victims as the perpetrators took an enormous toll on everyone.

While the details of your rape are different, it is disheartening — though not surprising — to hear how 40 years later, not very much has changed in Japan when it comes to law-enforcement responses to rape.

I personally think that the moral character, ethics and quality of life in any country should be judged in part by the rates of sexual victimization and the typical responses to survivors of those crimes. When it comes to Japan, it’s long overdue for the entire country to stop talking the talk and to start walking the walk.

ELLIFRANK

Troubling editorial judgment

Not to deny that rapes of all kinds occur in Japan, nor to comment on the issue of appropriate police handling of accusations of rape, but some, including the writer of the headline, seem to have missed the point that the accused rapist in this case wasn’t Japanese.

I was also surprised, to be honest, that a newspaper agreed to print this. Whilst the writer’s account of her experiences with the police can most likely be verified to have happened, the account of the events leading to that cannot. A public accusation of rape has now been made (albeit anonymously on both sides) in a very public medium and I don’t like the idea that the accuser could now threaten to make the identity of the accused known from the (legal) safety of abroad without having to answer to due legal process here.

OLIVER MACKIE

Oliver, why does it matter that he’s not Japanese? Your logic escapes me, and I can only say that the nationality or ethnicity of a criminal shouldn’t have any bearing whatsoever on whether the crime is reported or prosecuted, or on their apparent guilt or innocence.

It’s also nonsensical to say her story is less believable due to her anonymity. Did you not read, or just not comprehend, the part where she speaks of the shame, guilt and stigma of rape — not to mention trauma that women go through in the form of hearing comments just like yours?

You, sir, your attitude — your rape apologism — is exactly why women either don’t report or else speak only anonymously.

Additionally, her entire purpose for writing this has apparently escaped you, even though it was clearly laid out in the concluding paragraph. It’s not an accusation. It’s a call for action to improve the law and police response to rape.

So even on the off — very, very off — chance her story isn’t true, it doesn’t matter, because her experience with the police and the inadequacy of the legal system is what we should be worried about.

You’d better thank your lucky stars that neither you (men can be raped, too) or someone close to you has never had to deal with sexual assault. And you’d better think more deeply about why exactly women are disbelieved, shamed and prosecution is so difficult with this most heinous and traumatising of crimes.

BLONDEIN_TOKYO

If a substantial number of unreported rapes are occurring every year, then the headline is accurate. Japan is not as safe as the statistics suggest.

And the fact that rape can be difficult to prosecute may not reflect on the safety of Japan, but it certainly “points at a gap” in the legal system.

If the legal system is flawed, then the nationalities of attacker and victim do not matter.

At no point in the article does the author reveal, or show an inclination to reveal, the identity of her alleged attacker, so I do not think any journalistic ethics have been violated either.

KETSUROOU

What’s at issue here is the lack of support and sensitivity for the victim (the perpetrator’s nationality is irrelevant). At the very least the police should have determined the jurisdiction before making the victim relive such a horrible ordeal. That level of incompetence and insensitivity is astounding!

GORDON GRAHAM

Justice doesn’t always prevail

Rachel “pseudonym” Halle actually thought that the Japanese police would rush to her aid and thoroughly investigate a possible rape case? What sort of fantasy world is Rachel living in? Didn’t she do her homework before arriving in Japan? She’ll be taking home a very bitter lesson in this vale of tears: Justice doesn’t always prevail.

And what, Rachel, were you doing all by your lonesome in the alleged rapist’s apartment after you repeatedly told the sick bastard that you didn’t want to have sex with him? If he was that intent on “having you,” why didn’t you avoid him altogether? You yourself said that the rapist was a “new” acquaintance? All the more reason that you should’ve shown far more caution.

At the very least, why didn’t you have a trusted friend accompany you when you visited the rapist? You apparently trusted this fellow foreigner and he finally raped you. He just wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer, was he? Perhaps you insulted his fragile male ego?

If your criminal case against the rapist had gone to trial, the defendant’s “pitbull attack dog” attorney would’ve put you through a harrowing cross-examination meat grinder when you were called upon to testify. His questions in the courtroom would’ve made the kōban [police box] interrogations you’ve already had to endure seem like a sidewalk marketing survey by comparison.

Very likely the rapist knows far more about Japan’s lax sex crime laws than you’ll ever hope to. And what’s worse, you probably weren’t his first victim, and most likely you won’t be his last.

No, you are not to blame. The individual who raped you should be prosecuted for his crime, but we don’t live in a world where justice always prevails, do we? This is something that you yourself made very clear in your JT article.

Statistics are often used to conceal the truth. Japan wants the world to think that it is a relatively safe, crime-free society. I once believed this very same myth back when I first arrived here. Live and learn, eh? Life is the harshest, most unforgiving tutor of all.

ROBERT MCKINNEY
Otaru, Hokkaido

Minimizing risks of rape

As a woman brought up in another century, under the steely influence of flats-wearing feminists like Germaine Greer, I fail to sympathize unconditionally with Rachel Halle’s plight. Contrary to your pontifical headline, Japan’s overall public safety is in no way a “myth.” Rachel’s difficulties took place in a private space that she entered freely and over which legal controls, in any culture, are limited and problematic.

Given Japan’s rape laws quoted in the article, it seems to me the police treated Rachel fairly and reasonably. They cannot be expected to take action based on laws obtaining in countries other than their own. The female officer who advised Rachel to think it over carefully, etc., strikes me as having been kind and sensible, considering Japan’s particular legal circumstances. On appropriate support groups, which may or may not exist, Rachel must just do her own research.

I was carefully taught by my mother, from an early age, behavioral and self-defense maneuvers to keep close encounters from veering towards the dangerous. Her methods have served me well over several decades of taking responsibility for myself in private spaces. In that century, female self-reliance was an ideal to strive for. We had the sense to know we needed to take care of ourselves because no one else was about to do it for us.

No matter how many times we asked him nicely.

FAITH BACH
Kyoto

It needs to be noted that legal systems based on the principles of witness testimony, forensic evidence and innocence until proven guilty have great difficulty in proving rape, and thus convicting, in cases where no witnesses exist except the two parties involved and the lack of consent cannot be demonstrated by forensics (i.e., when trace-leaving violence was not used, as in the above case). Finding such evidence requirements as “unreasonable” will not alter that fact. Of course, counselling and support for victims of rape, whether they can find justice under such a system or not, is incredibly important and is clearly lacking in Japan.

The nature of the modern legal system also, however, reinforces the need to prevent rape occurring in the first place, some of which could be achieved quickly if certain precautions were taken. Several posters have tried to make this point (but have made it very indelicately indeed) but have been accused of blaming the victim.

I would like to responsibly point out that there is a difference between advocating sensible caution and blaming the victim. Some posters here have used the analogy of wearing an expensive watch and being robbed. The point, I feel, is not that wearing the watch makes it excusable to steal it, but rather that people would be well-advised not to wear such a watch (or carry large amounts of cash, or whatever) in areas known to have a higher risk of theft.

There is a difference between what ideally should happen (no theft at all and people being free to wear and display whatever watch they like) and what actually tends to happen in reality, currently. With the issue of rape, such “high-risk areas” would be: being alone with a male, particularly in his residence; the consumption of alcohol by the male; and engaging in activities other than intercourse that increase sexual arousal, amongst others.

To reiterate, none of this ever makes it “right” to rape, or the victim’s “fault” that it occurred, but it certainly makes it more likely to occur. This is part of what the writer points out as being highly necessary education. Obviously, men also need a lot of education, particularly regarding the moral unacceptability of rape, as well as the physical and mental trauma it causes victims.

I think all reasonable people will agree on the need to get incidence of rape down to zero. I speak as a father of a daughter.

OLIVER MACKIE

Education is happening

In my uni there are pamphlets about sexual harassment, and the special word sekuhara exists in Japan, as you probably know. We have twice-a-year interviews with our mentors where we can complain about anything regarding life in Japan, and female students are specifically asked about sexual harassment.

From time to time all students get circular mails about suspicious cases (e.g., if someone thought he/she was stalked, but not attacked) and reminders to escort female friends home if they stay late at the lab, a party or wherever.

I’ve heard my professor advocating for female independence and equality on numerous occasions, talking to the predominantly male class.

So, this education thing is going on as we speak, but it takes time.

VLADIMIR

In cases where a location is not included below the author’s credit, comments have been taken from the JT website. Have your say: community@japantimes.co.jp

  • Facebook User

    In the US the rapist have figured all of this out especially in the US military!
    The biggest group of rapist in the world is the US military and they are taught how to get away with it!

    Www theusmarinesrape com

    • CrimsonTears

      I can’t help but notice you post this anti-USMC propaganda across multiple articles. Unfortunately, you fail to add how every country, developed or not, has the same issues. As for the “biggest group of rapist”, I can’t even begin to address such falsities and ignorance.

      • rossdorn

        As much as this pre-fabricated comment is a joke…
        the sad point is that it speaks the truth.

        First of all, in the league of armies, occupying other nations against their will their is one leader surpassing every other country in past, present and future.

        By sheer logic that will the above statement true.

        But your idea, better not to address the issue is excellent!

      • Ron NJ

        Since when did the conversation shift to Britain? America has only invaded something like 70 nations since its founding; compare to the 171 existing nations invaded by the British (or to use deduction, only 22 nations presently in existence *haven’t* been invaded by Britain at some point in time). I can appreciate America bashing as much as the next guy, but it would be nice if you could at least keep it somewhat grounded in reality.

      • CrimsonTears

        I can name several other nations in human history that have far surpassed the United States in the above regard. I can also recall, having just done reports about world issues at my university, that in cases that the United States does not become involved, they are petitioned by the United Nations to do so. Take involvement with the Central African Republic for example: The United Nations demand U.S. aid. When that aid is given in the form of money and relocating troops it isn’t enough and there is a call for an actual U.S. invasion.
        **I will not defend any war or invasion, as I cannot justify any lose of life, however people have no problem painting other countries every color of the rainbow. Unfortunately, this leads to unwarranted generalizations and the falsehood of racial differences (when races don’t even exist).
        –Asterisk marks edit and not geared at you (rossdorn).

      • rossdorn

        The idea that invasions are crimes is a fairly new idea. The idea of human rights has never been a real subject of discussion and consideration until last century.
        But… we now KNOW that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the lie about Saddamns weapons or the murder of democratically elected Mosadegh or Allende and what ever they pretended Gaddafi had done, were all crimes against humanity.

        THere was no such awareness of this, when the immigrants to the newly discovered continent of America butchered the natives there.
        The question is not wether Dschingis Khan was as bad… we are talking of NOW.

      • CrimsonTears

        “The question is not wether Dschingis Khan was as bad… we are talking of NOW”, it’s becoming more and more obvious that you’re simply looking to argue for arguments sake. I would like to direct you to your initial comment, “First of all, in the league of armies, occupying other nations against their will their is one leader surpassing every other country in past, present and future” which is false on a great many levels.

        As I previously stated: I will not defend war or invasion; however as Ron NJ has said, it’s best to use accurate information when throwing around accusations.

  • CrimsonTears

    On topic at hand: It seems to me that rather than the myth of a safe country, the real issue is an apparent fear to address the crimes. I do not see a solution to the problem until the people are willing to accept, that, yes Japanese like all humans are capable of harming others and more specifically, of sexual misconduct.

    I am not Japanese, nor have I ever been to Japan, so my observations are merely those of an outsider and perhaps I am erroneously judging the matter, but it seems the social teachings educate the people to look the other way or be uncomfortable addressing such issues.

  • Ron NJ

    Best check your sources before you go flinging them about:

    If we’re going by sheer number of engagements or operations, again, Britain wins out, as any historian will tell you. That said, even playing your game (and having counted individual nations from your link, as you should have done before posting it), America only has “invaded” (to use a very loose definition, wholly to your own benefit) 67 individual nations, both extant and not (f.e. Spanish Philippines counted as an individual nation, Taiwan separate from China, UN/otherwise sanctioned actions (WW1/2 invasions of Austria), etc). Even using a supremely loose definition of the term “invade” (including humanitarian operations, operations at the request of the host country, deployments to guard embassies, friendly occupations of colonies of allies (Iceland/Greenland in WW2), etc), America only manages to hit a meager 97 countries. Were we to use that same standard for Britain, there should be no doubt in any rational mind that the number would be quite a bit higher.

    So as I said, no matter how you cut it, Britain has been involved in far more military engagements (and invasions) than any other nation on Earth. It’s all well and good (and fashionable, it seems) to bash America, but please do keep it grounded in reality as originally asked.

    • rossdorn

      Jesus… what is so hard to understand here?

      The USA, followed closely by Isarel is by far most disusting, criminal murderous country in the last 50 years.

      I am not even saying that there is much wrong with it.
      Probably any other country, if it could get away with it, would be doing exactly the same. Namely: getting rich by stealing fropm others and killing those who refuse..

      Get it now?

      I am simply stating facts, I have no interest in judging. I just believe, that everybody should understand this reality! It will change within the next one or two deacades anyway, as the US is in full decline..
      Of course understanding that would require an intelligence that americans usually do not have at their disposal…

      • Ron NJ

        Yes, your position has been proven to be completely untrue so let’s move the goalposts and change the topic! At least future readers who come upon this thread will see how full of it you are thanks to my efforts, since you yourself seem incapable of reflection or staying on topic.

      • rossdorn

        Aaaah…. americans practicing argumentation and logic….

        I send you a list with about 200 arguments and you proof that they are wrong by telling my “I am full of it”

  • Eagle

    I am a foreigner and I was attacked and assaulted in Japan many times at public places daylight without any reason.

    Japanese might want to educate us how to handle them in our countries. It takes time until the myth of the polite Japanese fades away and world will understand what they think about us and how they handle us in their country. But once it happens it will take ten times more until the Japanese can improve their image and can reverse the unfavorable consequences.

    I don’t care, I have learned how to stay out of trouble, I know, them very well, it’s their life and it’s their problem how they socialize with the world.

    • johnniewhite

      “Without any reason” and being attacked in public place in Japan — sounds really incredible. Did you wear something very provocative and offending hard-line people such as Yakuza and Shibakitai, perhaps?

      • Sarah Cosentino

        I am a 35 y.o. woman and I have been physically attacked in a konbini while casually there with my sister. I’ve been living in Japan for 8 years and the whole situation felt so unreal I was not even worried, just utterly surprised. Smtg like this never EVER happened to me anywhere else. Of course I never reported this – although I would also have had proof from the internal konbini security camera.
        Crime exists, in Japan. So the police *SHOULD* learn to do smtg about that. And from what I gather, Japanese women have little to no help from the authorities. This is definitely disheartening.
        On the other hands, you are also to blame if you put yourself in a high-risk situation, Japan or foreign country. I am sorry here, ladies, but I cannot understand all these little nekochan who wander around half naked or enter willingly alone in a stranger’s apartment and then find themselves groped or even raped. Safety first! Prevention is better than cure.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Maybe because we count on men to be halfway civilized, and able to control their sex drive well enough so that the sight of cleavage doesn’t cause them to lose their mind and attack like an animal in heat.

        The last time I was sexually harassed on the street I was wearing a high neck sweater under a coat. Not sure how that translates to “half naked”.

        It’s almost as though clothing doesn’t matter, huh?

      • Sarah Cosentino

        If you live in Tokyo, you perfectly know what I mean by “half naked”. As you are an adult, I guess you also know what I mean by “high-risk” situation. Clothing DOES matter. On the other hand, harassment is harassment and violence is violence, sexy clothing or not. One of the very few times I’ve been sexually harassed in the street (and I have a very high threshold on what I personally classify harassment) I was nearly dressed up as a homeless person – coming back home from a very hard day at my lab. So what I mean is we must pay attention on the image we give out, but we also HAVE the right to be protected.

      • blondein_tokyo

        I was pointing out that women have been harassed and raped even when they are fully covered up; so logically speaking, that means that clothing isn’t always, or even primarily, a factor. So to suggest that women must dress modestly (What does that even mean? Whose standard do we go by?) is rather nonsensical since their choice of clothing is not going to put a rapist off or spur him on.

        A high risk situation can mean lots of things, most especially when you consider that the vast majority of rapes are perpetrated by people the victim knows. In those cases, a “high risk situation” can include: going to work, being at home, going on a date, going to a party at a friend’s house, lying in bed with a husband, being alone with a family member, and so on.

        If you mean to say that women need to be extra careful and consider safety when venturing into places that are known for high levels of crime, then I agree. But that is also true for men, so again, logically speaking, it’s not particular to women and rape.

        When you say “women should be careful of the impression they give” you are coming off as blaming the victim, even if that is not what you mean to do.

      • Sarah Cosentino

        I don’t know what to reply here. Lying in bed with a husband is definitely a “high risk” situation. So you probably should avoid lying in bed with a husband if you are not ready to have sex with him.
        Going on a date in a unknown isolated place, going to a 2-people party at a friend’s house without a pepper spray, yes – “high risk” situations. And listen, I’ve been there – with mixed results. Nothing I couldn’t really handle, though.
        Hope for the best but be prepared to the worst: we should count on men to be halfway civilized, but we also shouldn’t forget that we are at risk.
        When I say “women should be careful of the impression they give” I might sound as coming off as blaming the victim, but this is also important. There might be a (small) chance that the counterpart will focus more on our brains than on the rest – if the counterpart is halfway civilized, that is. As for me, I do sometimes really wonder what’s the message under a skirt barely covering th buttocks or a cleavage so deep that leaves almost nothing to imagination.

      • blondein_tokyo

        I’m not sure what to say to you, either. I would hope that if I’m not in the mood for sex, I could safely lie in bed with my boyfriend! You seem to be taking this to an extreme, and basically are saying men are all barely-tamed but still dangerous animals. That’s rather insulting, don’t you think? I don’t know you, of course; I’m only going from your words here, but I really hope you don’t think that badly of men.

        Personally, I put a general modicum of trust in the men I meet on a daily basis and don’t feel I am putting myself in danger by being alone with them. I also don’t carry pepper spray with me all the time on dates, and when I’ve traveled, I’ve gone to places where women are second-class citizens. I particularly love India and of course, always take precautions, but never once thought that I shouldn’t go there or that if I were raped it would be my own fault for going there.

        I am not willing to curtail my own freedom in that way, and will fight anyone who attempts to curtail the freedom of women in any way under the guise of “protecting” them. It’s infantilizing, it’s sexist, and it sets women up to be blamed for something that is utterly out of their control.

        And you keep going back to the “impression we give off”, as though this is something we can control though clothing choice. If a man is disrespectful of women and is of the mindset to “punish” them or feels entitled to their body, nothing a woman wears, short of a iron suit, is gong to stop him or put him off. Women in the Middle East who wear burqa are still raped- the reason a man chooses to violate a woman has nothing to do with her clothes, and everything to do with the fact that he is a rapist.

        As for what women are thinking when they wear cleavage bearing outfits? It’s really none of your business. Judging people by their clothing is both small minded and shows intolerance for other people’s right to express themselves. Keep your opinions about other people’s clothing choices to yourself, and certainly do not blame their clothing choice for the existence of rapists.

      • Sarah Cosentino

        I don’t think that men are all animals, what I think is that sex is there, men are inclined to sex, and we should be aware of this. I do not carry pepper spray on me, either, anytime. And I work and live in an almost men-only environment. But I’ve actually never put myself in a situation where if I absolutely didn’t want to have sex, I had no other options than rely on the counterpart kindness.
        I don’t think you should curtail your freedom, I just generally think that we should be extra careful because it does not really matter if rape is punished or not, if you have been raped, nothing can really undo the rape. Even if you are covered in gold, even if your rapist is sent to prison for good.
        This does not change the fact that rape is a crime, and it must be punished. And harassment, too. And stalking, also. And unfortunately, Japan is not very up-to-date to law enforcement when it comes to these crimes.

        As for clothing, this is a different thing.
        In fact, there is a full feminist movement against this continuous showing of barely dressed woman bodies on TV and ads, because it basically is sexual objectification of women.
        And clothing is so important in our society that it has led to develop entire sets of rules, the “dress code”. Which in Japan is written and very detailed, as anyone who has read any book on “business for freshmen” can tell you.
        I take it that, if you choose an image with your choice of clothing, that is the image you want the others to see. Which, in the case of women, depending on the choice, can be counterproductive, if they want to be noticed for their brain rather than their butts.

        Even if, again, to see is not “to touch”. I definitely do not blame women clothing choice for the existence of rapists.
        I would say that it’s a bit as going around showing off a rich and full wallet. People would notice, bolder people -normally friends!- might ask you to pay for their drinks as you are obviously full of money, but very few people would threaten you with a knife to get the money. The problem normally is, if you lose the money you’ll be sad for a while and then move on, if you are raped consequences might never fade off. There is much more at stake, so we should be much more careful and aware.

      • http://zi.n.gy/ Kirt Seth Cathey

        I have lived here years and have never been openly attacked. Ended up jabbing for space on the train a couple times, but that applies to Japanese as well.

  • HKskill

    The image Japan want to show to the world will not change because those that live in Confucian countries are as confused as Confucian himself.
    They have the highest suicidal rate in the world because that is the only solution left if your family does not belongs to the bureaucratic or aristocrats.
    So read, lean and think on best way to manage if you think of doing anything in Asia.

  • Cavour

    The emphasis on ‘honour’ in Japanese culture must play a part. It is easier to suppress evidence of something dishonourable occurring within a society than it is to confront it. From the false history of WW2 to the lack of prosecution of sexual assaults, the focus on ‘honour’ harms Japanese society.

  • オスカー

    “Why does it matter that he’s not Japanese?”

    The fact(empirical data) is that there are racial differences, such as self-control/impulse control, aggression, intelligence, length, apocrine sweat glands, skin differences (I don’t mean skin colour) milk/alcohol metabolism, bone structure, teeth size, brain size, blood and so on.

    So yes the nationality of the perp is important, the main task of the government should be the safekeeping of the Yamato/Japanese people, so that the country and their unique gene pool can survive and thrive.

    They should keep statistics on all non-Japanese perps and ban the ethnicity that doesn’t fit into the Japanese society and are a harm to the people at large.
    Why should the country accept that visitors behave in an unacceptable manner towards the host country and its people?

  • justman7

    This article is a first step in spreading the “Rape Culture” propaganda concept from the US to Japan. Watch out, Japanese men and Gaijin/foreigners alike, and fight back against the hailstorm of false accusations and general demonization of males that will arise when the “Rape Culture” propaganda bandwagon rolls into town. Consider yourself warned.