Justice Minister Isao Matsuura expressed displeasure August 5 over ongoing public debate on revising the Juvenile Law, saying it focuses too much on whether lawbreakers under age 16 should be subject to criminal punishment.

At a regular news conference at the ministry, Matsuura said such discussions should not focus only on whether to lower the minimum age for criminal punishment from 16 to 14. By law, youths between age 14 and 19 can be held responsible for committing crimes, but those under 16 are exempt from criminal proceedings, and the cases are handled in family courts without the presence of prosecutors.

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