A bill to revise the Juvenile Law, which passed the Lower House with the backing of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, is now in the Upper House. The bill is designed to provide harsher treatment of juvenile offenders. Lawmakers must question whether such a move will really help to prevent juvenile crimes and rehabilitate juvenile offenders.

The bill calls for lowering the youngest age at which juvenile offenders can be sent to juvenile reformatories from 14 to around 12. Juvenile offenders under the age of 14 cannot be held criminally responsible, but if the bill becomes law, fifth and sixth graders could be sent to reformatories.

The bill was first introduced in 2005 after a 12-year-old boy killed a boy in 2003 and an 11-year-old girl killed a female classmate in 2004, both in Nagasaki Prefecture. But the bill was scrapped when the Lower House was dissolved in 2005 during a political confrontation over postal service privatization bills. It was re-introduced to the Diet in 2006.