The Cabinet approved a sweeping bill Tuesday that would impose harsher penalties for rape and other sex offenses, including the recognition of male rape victims for the first time.

The measure, if passed by the Diet, will raise the minimum sentence for rape to five years from the current three years, expand the scope of victims, including males, and no longer require a victim to file a complaint in order to prosecute an assailant in a rape or sexual molestation case.

Despite the enduring impact on survivors of sexual assault, the three-year minimum sentence for rape was shorter than the mandatory five-year minimum penalty for robbery under the current criminal code, which was enacted a century ago.