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The Legislative Council, an advisory body for the justice minister, on Feb. 8 submitted an outline of a revision of the Juvenile Law to Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki. The recommendations are aimed at making punishment stricter for minors who have committed crimes.

One wonders whether this is in line with the basic spirit and principle of the Juvenile Law, whose main purpose is rehabilitation, rather than punishment. In writing the law revision, the Justice Ministry should fully consider these things. The Diet also should discuss the law revision by taking into account special factors surrounding minor offenders. Under the current Juvenile Law, a court is allowed to reduce life imprisonment for a convicted minor to imprisonment of 10 to 15 years. But the council has called for introducing prison sentences of 10 to 20 years.

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