Support for Crime Victims
The Basic Act on Crime Victims and the Basic Plan for Crime Victims
The Basic Plan for Crime Victims
Because the target period of the "Basic Plan for Crime Victims" approved in the Cabinet meeting in December 2005 has ended based on the Basic Act on Crime Victims at the end of FY 2010, the "Second Basic Plan for Crime Victims" (hereinafter referred to as the "Second Basic Plan") was approved in the Cabinet meeting in March 2011. The Ministry of Justice is promoting various support measures in consideration of the Second Basic Plan and other plans.
The Basic Plan for Crime Victims
Because the target period of the "Basic Plan for Crime Victims" approved in the Cabinet meeting in December 2005 based on the Basic Act on Crime Victims was scheduled to be completed at the end of FY2010, the "Secondary Basic Plan for Crime Victims" (hereinafter referred to as the "Secondary Basic Plan") was approved in the Cabinet meeting in March 2011. The Ministry of Justice is promoting various support measures in consideration of the Secondary Basic Plan and other plans.
Concrete support measures
Procedure for Payment Based on the Recovery of the Property of Crime Victims
Under the “Act on Recovery Payment to be Paid from Assets Generated from Crime,” it is now possible, under certain conditions, to confiscate such property taken by offenders from crime victims through property offenses and to use the confiscated property for the recovery of damages suffered by the crime victims of relevant cases.
Victim Participation System
The victims etc. of crimes such as murder or injury may, when they so wish and with the court's permission attend the trial dates and engage in activities such as questioning of the defendant under certain requirements.
Travel Expenses Payment System for Victim
To reduce the economic burden of victim participants under the victim participation system, a system has been established whereby the government pays travel expenses, daily allowances, and accommodation charges to victim participants who appear on the trial dates, etc.
State-Appointed Attorney for Victim Participants
A victim participant can request the court to appoint a participating victim's attorney on assistance, under certain requirements; the fees are covered by the state.
A criminal court, making use of the outcome of the criminal proceedings, is able to briefly and quickly examine and decide on a claim for damages that the victims etc. of crimes such as murder or injury may file against the defendant.
Observation of Hearing by Victims, etc.
A victim of a serious case such as homicide etc. can observe the proceedings on the date of the hearing of a case of a Juvenile.
Hearing of Victims’ Opinions in Parole Examinations and Communication of Victims’ Sentiments to Probationers
“Hearing of Victims’ Opinions in Parole Examinations” is a system to hear criminal victims’ opinions during parole examinations by Regional Parole Boards.
“Communication of Victims’ Sentiments to Probationers” is a system to hear the sentiments of the victims and to communicate such feelings to offenders on probation.
Victim Notification System
The public prosecutors office notifies crime victims of information related to their cases, including the determinations on whether or not the offenders should be prosecuted, the outcomes of the trials, and the dates of offenders’ release. In collaboration with related organizations, the office also notifies victims of information on offenders upon victims’ request, such as the treatment circumstances of the offenders after the final decision in criminal trials and of the offenders under protective measures.
The Japan Legal Support Center (Houterasu)
The Japan Legal Support Center (Houterasu) nominates candidates as court-appointed attorneys for the victims, does the administrative work of notifying the court, provides travel expenses etc. for victim participants, offers various types of information to support crime victims and their families, and introduces attorneys-at-law who have experience and understanding of victim assistance.