Japan’s justice ministry has proposed raising the country’s age of sexual consent from 13 to 16 as part of a wider reform of the country’s laws on sex crimes.
The proposal also aims to make grooming minors and voyeurism a crime, as well as expand the definition of rape.
Japan has the lowest age of consent for developed countries.
The move comes after the acquittal of several accused rapists in 2019, which sparked public outrage.
In one case, a court acquitted a father who had repeatedly raped his teenage daughter even after it recognized the girl had not consented.
The court said there was no definitive proof that the girl was unable to resist psychologically – as in she could have if she wanted to.
The acquittal was later overturned by a higher court.
Under Japan’s current law, victims need to prove that there was violence and intimidation and that they had been unable to physically resist in order to secure a conviction.
The new proposal seeks to clarify that violence and intimidation includes intoxication, drugging, catching victims off-guard and using psychological control, according to the Guardian.