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Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School - Green Background

Country Details

Japan

  • 2007(A) No. 1961, Japan, Supreme Court, 2008.
    The accused was charged with the act of stalking a female customer at a shopping mall, taking photographs of her buttocks in trousers with his cellular phone with a built-in digital camera from a close distance.  The court held that this act constituted an obscene act making a victim feel embarrassed or insecure under the Hokkaido Prefecture Ordinance on Prevention of Violent Public Nuisance No. 34 of 1965, which criminalizes obscene behavior.
  • 2004 (Ju) No. 1968, Japan, Supreme Court, 2006.
    Two female members of a certain local community which have collective property rights to a common land (called a "common" or a "hamlet") petitioned the court to decide the unconstitutionality of a traditional practice which determined membership and property rights within the community.  The court held that this custom which excludes female descendants who married outside of the community, is "contrary to public order and therefore null and void" under Article 90 of the Civil Code.  The court held that "the male descendant requirement discriminates against female descendants only because they are females" and it is unreasonable and against the constitutional principle of "essential gender equality."
  • 2004 (A) No. 2199, Japan, Supreme Court, 2005.
    The defendant husband, who had joint parental authority with his wife, forcibly took his son away from his mother.  The court held that the defendant's act constituted kidnapping, as there were no special circumstances which made the defendant's actions necessary, and the act was "violent and coercive."  In addition, the court found that the act of kidnapping the child could not be justified even though the defendant had parental authority.
  • 2002 (A) No. 805, Japan, Supreme Court, 2003.
    The defendant husband of Dutch nationality, married but separated from his Japanese wife, forcibly took his two-year-old daughter away from her mother, with the purpose of taking her away to the Netherlands.  The court held that the defendant kidnapped his daughter in a "malicious manner" when he pulled her by the legs, hanged her upside down and wedged her between his arm and waist, a criminal offense of kidnapping for the purpose of transporting the kidnapped person to a foreign country, under Article 226(1) of the Penal Code.