• Kyodo

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The Japan Federation of Bar Associations urged the government Friday to provide support to crime victims and their families.

In a resolution adopted at its annual human rights meeting in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, the association proposed a five-point plan featuring the enactment of a fundamental law concerning crime victims’ rights and the establishment of a comprehensive system of financial support.

According to the resolution, the fundamental law should stipulate that victims of crime have the right to seek compensation and financial support, and the national and local governments are obligated to provide it.

It also urged the government to support private organizations that aid victims and to cover victims’ legal costs if they seek reparations.

Discussions at the meeting also focused on whether victims should be allowed greater participation in the legal process.

Proponents insisted victims should be allowed to directly question defendants in court and demand penalties. Opponents argued such a system would undermine the principles of criminal justice, such as the presumption of innocence.

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