Published:  02:02 AM, 12 September 2019

Protesters accuse Japan of failing women

Protesters accuse Japan of failing women While the global #MeToo movement against sexual abuse has stormed through everything from Hollywood to the Italian opera, it has struggled to take off in Japan. -AFP

Women's rights protesters are taking to the streets for the sixth time in as many months as anger mounts in Japan over 'outdated' rape laws, after a man was allowed to walk free despite sexually assaulting his daughter for years.

A court ruled the father had sexually abused his child from around the age 13 to 19 and even acknowledged he was violent when she resisted, but he was acquitted because the law requires prosecutors to prove there was overwhelming force, a threat, or that the victim was completely incapacitated.

The verdict is being appealed, but it has sparked outrage with hundreds again expected to demonstrate in cities across the nation Wednesday, while an online petition demanding that any sex without consent be defined as rape signed by more than 47,000 people has been submitted to the justice ministry.

For Jun Yamamoto, who was abused by her father between the ages of 13 and 20, the story is sickeningly familiar. "Again!... That was what I thought," the 45-year-old said, adding: "Japanese justice does not recognize sexual offences like this as a crime. I cannot tolerate it anymore."

--AFP, Tokyo

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