Art & Design

The Penal Code of Japan: Sex without consent isn’t rape? -Talk event with the first incorporated sexual assault survivors' organisation in Japan-

11 July 2018, London


In June last year (2017), the Penal Code regarding sex crimes in Japan was reformed significantly for the first time in 110 years. While this is a big step forward, many problems remain. For example, the reform did not abolish the clause that requires the use of “violence or intimidation” by the perpetrator - and the need for the victim to present evidence that they resisted fiercely - to establish a rape case. The concept of ‘consent’ remains absent from the law. Moreover, the statue of limitation prevents those who were sexually abused as children from pressing charges due to the statute of limitation; and it remains difficult to get sexual violence between partners recognised as a crime.


Spring, the first incorporated sexual assault survivors' organisation in Japan, is working hard to resolve these issues. They started Believe Campaign in 2016 with three other organisations - Tomorrow Girls Troop, Shiawase Namida, and Chabujo - to push for the reform, lobbying politicians, organising public events, and starting online campaigns and a petition (which was signed by over 50,000 people before they handed it over to the Minister of Justice). Their campaign was covered by major Japanese media outlets on several occasions.


Together with a group of journalists, clinical psychologists, and lawyers, members of Spring are visiting the UK to get some inspiration about how things can be improved in Japan in terms of legal reform, support systems, and social change. We've decided to hold this event to introduce Spring's work in Japan, to talk about the reality of sexual violence in Japan and the people working hard trying to change it, and to exchange ideas about how to realise a better world for everyone including survivors of sexual violence.



13:45~14:00 Entry

14:00~15:0 Talk session by Spring members
In this talk, Spring members will talk about their past and current campaigns, as well as why they started and continue to work on this issue. The Director of Spring, Ms. Jun Yamamoto, who has also published a book about her experience of sexual abuse, will also talk about her experience.

14:40~15:00 Presentation by the research team on sexual violence in Japan
In Japan, even when someone experiences ‘sex without consent’ as ‘sexual violence’, the law often does not recognise it as a crime. Spring and researchers from Japan have started a research project to understand the reality of sexual violence in Japan in order to use the results for future policy advocacy and legal reform. Members of the research team will present the preliminary results.

15:00~15:10 Break


15:10~16:00 Q&A and discussion with the audience 

Members of Spring, as well as others on the tour (lawyers, journalists, and clinical psychologists from Japan) will hold a discussion with the audience.


Japanese (English interpretation provided)


Spring (General Incorporated Association) 
UK-based Supporters of Spring


[Supported by]
The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation


[Supported by]

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

11 July 2018, 14.00 - 16.00
Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, London NW1 4QP

Spring, UK-based Supporters of Spring, The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation