So, as we all know, Japan can be a little...uh... strange, at times.
But, I came across a law that not just I, but most Japanese as well, don't know.
刑法１７６条 Section 176 of the Constitution, or specifically the Law of Punishments, states this.
Translated this states: Men and Women (Boys and Girls) age of consent is set at 13 years of age.
Yuppers everyone. The age of consent in Japan is 13.
However, it's not that simple. (Of course not...)
There is another set of laws, called the Ordinance for Youth (loosely translated) which states that one may not force or coerce any young person under age 18 into, shall we say, coitus for your own personal, uh, benefit. Now, it seems to me that you should not force ANYONE into, uh, coitus. But, that's what it says...
Now, every prefecture as their own set of laws that, for the most part, say that you can't, uh, make a baby with anyone under 18.
BUT!! In 2007, a 36 year old man, wife and 2 kids, was having an affair with a 16 or 17 (I forgot) year old High School girl. Now, they had of course been having coitus, but besides that they had been actually dating! Like, for real!!
So, the girl's parents found out and they, as parents do, assumed that the man was just some evil nasty animal who humps everything that moves. So, he was arrested.
In court, he and the girl both said, and proved through pictures and emails, that they were seriously dating, and not just for, uh, coitus.
Guess what the judge said?
Ready for it...?
IT WAS OK!! THE MAN WAS LET OFF AND ALLOWED TO LEGALLY DATE THAT GIRL!!
The decision was that if you are dating 'for the purpose of or leading to marriage', then it is legal!. In other words, you can date a 13 year old if you, at the beginning or at least more often then not, go on actual REAL dates (seriously date) then it is OK!!
Now to westerners, the act of dating a 13 year sounds like pedo-bear right?
But hey, when in Rome...
Stay Frosty!(1000 internets to anyone who can tell me where that quote is from!)