Having already been deliberated by the upper house, an amendment to Japan’s anti-stalking law was passed by the lower house during the current Diet session on the afternoon of the 26th. The revised law adds repeated emails to the list of behaviors deemed harassing that was originally laid out in 2000, and also includes repeated calling, faxing and lying in wait. Lawmakers submitted the bill in response to an actual stalking incident that resulted in the victim’s death.
In 2012, a women living in Zushi, Kanagawa complained to police that a man she had formerly been involved with was harassing her by sending repeated emails. Police took no action because repeated emails were not listed in the anti-stalking law as a precondition for prosecution. The women was subsequently murdered by the man. Police believe similar incidents can now be prevented with the passing of the amendment.
Additionally, when an incident of stalking was previoulsy reported, warnings and injunctions could only be issued from the police station or public safety commission with jurisdiction over the area in which the victim lived. However, the revised law stipulates that police stations and public safety commissions with jurisdiction over the aggressor’s domicile as well as those responsible for the area where an incident took place can now also issue warnings and orders of cease and desist.
Japan just got that little bit safer.