For the first time since the Penal Code took effect in 1907, the Justice Ministry is compiling a package of amendments to Japan's sex crime statutes that, if passed, will be the first major shake-up of those laws in more than a century.

From redefining rape to increasing the minimum sentence for that crime, the intended revision is largely hailed as a welcome development, if long-overdue, although critics say there is room for improvement.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to green-light the revised bill for submission to the ongoing Diet session as early as this week.