Q. I am a woman with a ________________ nationality. Yesterday, I was physically hurt by my Japanese husband. I had a scratch on my arm and I developed a lump in my head. The situation got out of control so I called up the Police and we were questioned separately. Since these violent actions had been done many times, I want the Police to arrest my husband but they did not do it. In my country, once husband hurts his wife he will be arrested. Why is it that here in Japan, they don't do it ?
A. DV cases here in Japan require the wife who is the victim to file a formal complaint against her husband for prosecution. This is called Shinkokuzai. The truth will be made public so the victim is placed in a disadvantageous situation and crime within family members will be made known. (For example, the wife wanted to hide or keep it as a secret that she is hurt by her husband or wife does not want husband who is a member of the family be arrested, and others). The purpose of Domestic Violence Law in Japan is to prevent DV and protect victims. DV Law takes active or positive measures to prevent DV which is very much different from DV Preventive Law of other countries the objective of which is to punish batterer. It is only when violence worsen or become serious that the Police can arrest the batterer. Aside from this kind of DV, if there is no "letter of complaint" submitted to the Police, the batterer cannot be arrested in Japan.
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