An advisory panel to Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Thursday proposed law amendments aimed at preventing the names and other personal information of sex crime victims from being exposed to suspected offenders.
In a report submitted to Kamikawa, the Legislative Council called for revising legislation including the criminal procedure law to conceal the names and home addresses of the victims written in arrest warrants or documents of indictment.
“We will start work on drawing up amendment bills. We want to proceed with preparations to submit (the bills) to parliament swiftly,” Kamikawa said.
According to an outline of proposed amendments submitted by the panel, personal information of the victims of crimes, including rape, indecent assault, child prostitution, child pornography, would become confidential.
Currently, suspects of these crimes may have access to information about the victims when they are shown arrest warrants or receive documents of indictment.
According to the amendment outline, abridged copies of documents of indictment with no information about the names or home addresses of sex crime victims would be sent to the accused, instead of full copies carrying such personal information.
Likewise, law-enforcement authorities would be allowed to show abridged copies of arrest warrants to the suspects.
Meanwhile, lawyers would also be required to hide the names and home addresses of the victims from the accused, although they can receive full copies of documents of indictment containing such information.
The amendment outline includes a provision urging the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and others to take “appropriate action” against those who violate the requirement.
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