Sexual Violence and the Law in Japan

By Catherine Burns | Go to book overview

Notes

Prelude

1
Rosalind Coward's conceptualisation of pornography as a 'regime of representations' is useful in understanding how we learn to identify and apply codes of interpretations to particular images, texts or representations when they comply with certain modes of signification. She states that: 'The [representations] show bodies (usually naked) in a sexualised way, or people involved in the sex act, according to certain conventions which means they are interpreted as pornographic by society' (Coward 1987:310).
2
I follow the Japanese convention of family name followed by given name in citing Japanese-language sources except in the citation of English-language references where the authors have followed English-language order.
3
Case of murder, Tokyo District Court, 1987 SH62 (wa) No. 67, Judgment 18 December 1987, Hanrei Jihō 1275, 11 July 1988:45.
4
This point was central to both trials, but is most clearly stated in the appeal judgment. Case of murder, Tokyo High Court, 1988 SH63 (u) No. 155, Judgment 9 June 1988, Hanrei Jihō 1283, 9 June 1989:57. In two recent Australian cases judges also invoked the myth that prostitutes are not as harmed psychologically as ordinary women by rape (see Scutt 1994b).
5
The practice of making a personal apology and offering a symbolic financial settlement (isharyo) is regarded as particularly significant in Japanese legal culture and usually results in greater leniency (see Johnson 2002:202; Wagatsuma and Rosett 1986:461-498; Haley 1986:499-507).
6
Case of murder, Hanrei Jihō 1275, 11 July 1988:45. For a more detailed analysis of the case see Burns (1997).
7
Marcia Goodman (1986:27-28) argues that law in Japan explicitly seeks to reflect dominant social attitudes: 'According to official philosophy, it is impossible to establish rigid standards since the prosecutor must represent the national will (kokka ishi), and standards must therefore flow with the changing times and environment'.

1

Legal storytelling and sexual violence

1
In Tokyo, the groups Kōdō suru onnatachi no kai and STON-Sei bōryoku to tatakau onnatachi no nettowāku '90 have been very active, tackling a wide range of issues relating to sexual violence in particular.
2
The first judicial statement on sexual harassment was made in the Numazu case in 1990. The judge stated that the sexual harassment in this case included an indecent assault and because the car door was locked the plaintiff could not

-169-

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Sexual Violence and the Law in Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables x
  • Series Editor's Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • 1 - Legal Storytelling and Sexual Violence 1
  • 2 - Hegemonic Masculinity and Guilty Feminine Bodies 19
  • 3 - Confronting the Japanese Criminal Justice System 44
  • 4 - Credibility in the Court 67
  • 5 - 'In Truth She Was Probably Very Drunk' 84
  • 6 - Markers of Truth 110
  • 7 - Subversive Stories and Feminist Strategies 131
  • 8 - Conclusion 159
  • Appendix 1 163
  • Appendix 2 165
  • Notes 169
  • Bibliography 180
  • Index 194
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