The earlier comment about the national age is misleading though as that is not the age nearly any prefecture uses. It's mostly 16 or 18 throughout Japan, through other laws. They don't view things much different than we do.
I did say they bump up the age in many prefectures to at least 16.
The age of consent is only 13 in the national penal code, and both the national and prefectural laws restrict sexual activity under the age of 18 in some form. The national Child Welfare Act of 1947 bans coercive acts and prostitution under 18. The prefectural and local laws do set the age of consent higher than 13, but they come with some caveats. Such as "indecency", meaning the older party intended to exploit the teenager, or there was coercion involved. Intent is of course more difficult to prove than the age of the participants. The punishment for breaking these laws also tend to be too lax.
This is a good article about why the national and prefectural laws are currently insufficient to protect teenagers from sexual exploitation, and why there is a movement to raise the national minimum to 16: https://unseenjapan.com/fight-to-raise-national-age-of-consent (published in 2020, so a bit outdated)
This is also a good summary about the situation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_consent_in_Asia#Japan
More recent developments about a government panel drafting a proposal to raise the national AoC to 16: Nippon.com (2022) | Japan Times (2023)
Important to note that the proposed changes don't affect relations between minors: "[...] Intercourse with a person aged 13 to 15 will be punished if the perpetrator is five or more years older."
I'm very happy to see the update. I have mixed feelings about the quick escalation in chapter 12, but given the title I shouldn't be that surprised. I'm sure there are still a lot of challenges for these two in the future, so I'm not worried about the premise growing stale.
last edited at Feb 17, 2023 11:30AM