While Japan is often touted as being a “safe country” it is important to acknowledge that many serious crimes still occur here . This particular post will contain resources in addressing how to report assault, specifically sexual assault.
It is recommended that you read National AJET’s post on Sexual Harassment to familiarize yourself with your rights and situation in Japan.
How you choose to address your situation is up to you, but we recommend you get in contact with the PAs or an AJET member so that we can guide you to proper resources for your situation.
The resources in this post have been sourced from a particular sexual assault case involving a JET which occurred in Nagasaki, 2018. You can read about what occurred here .
The JET who wrote the article has given Hyogo AJET permission to share resources she used in reporting the assault case.
AJET bodies have no jurisdiction in regards to reporting assault cases , we can assist JETs in accessing resources or we can assist in contacting certain people but we have no other power nor are we allowed to legally report on a JETs’ behalf.
Sexual Crime Support in Hyogo
Hyogo Crime Victim Support Center
Hyogo Prefectural Women and Family Consulting Center (Hyogo Spousal Violence Counseling and Support Center) / Japanese / 078(732)7700 / Everyday / 9:00–21:00 * 24 hours available for emergency
English Document from the Hyogo Prefectural Women and Family Consulting Center (Hyogo Spousal Violence Counseling and Support Center), detailing (mostly in regards to Domestic Violence) your rights when faced with violence in Japan
Hyogo Prefectural Gender Equality Promotion Center “Even” Counseling for women / Japanese / 078(360)8551 / Mon.–Sat. (except national holidays, year-end and new-year holidays) / 9:30–12:00, 13:00–16:30
Hyogo Prefectural Police HQ Stalker and DV consultation / Japanese / 078(371)7830 / Everyday / 24 hours
General Affairs Division, Kobe District Immigration Office, Osaka Regional Immigration Bureau / Japanese / 078(391)6377 / Mon.–Fri. (except national holidays, year-end and new-year holidays) / 8:30–12:00 13:00–17:15
Hyogo International Association Information and Advisory Service Center (General counseling) / English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese / 078(382)2052 / Mon.–Fri. (General counseling) 9:00–17:00, Mon. (Legal counseling; appointment required) 13:00–15:00
Kobe International Community Center KICC / English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Filipino / 078(291)8441 / Mon.–Fri. (English, Chinese), Fri. (Korean), Tue. & Wed. (Spanish, Portuguese), Mon. & Wed. (Vietnamese), Wed. (Filipino) / 10:00– 12:00, 13:00–17:00 (telephone inquiries available from 9:00)
NGO Network for Foreigners’ Assistance Kobe / English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog / 078(232)1290 / Fri. / 13:00–20:00 (Chinese available until 18:00)
Asian Women’s Empowerment Project/ Japanese, English, Portuguese / 078(734)3633 / Wed. / 11:00–16:00
The national sexual assault hotline number #8103.
For finding a lawyer.
Hyogo Specific https://japan2.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-lawyers-osaka.html#hyogo
**The ALT recommends Umemoto from the Nagasaki area
The ALT also said that if you find yourself in a situation where an embassy cannot assist you , it would be worth checking out Pathways to Safety, — a global organisation which assists victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual harassment and forced marriage via its 24/7/365, international toll-free hotline, 833-SAFE-833, and by email or live online chat.
If you need to go to the police to handle/report your sexual assault crime it was suggested by their lawyer that if you are a woman, you should ask for a female police officer.
It is recommended that one should have a lawyer with you from the beginning of the reporting stages, but in cases where there are fluids or penetration it is recommended that you report your crime as fast as you can because it is very likely that the evidence will disappear quickly.
Keep all your clothing from the day of the crime , texts you sent/received , and mark the location where the crime happened. If you want to sue your assailant then you must know exactly where he/she/they live.
The ALT was also kind enough to share some templates of the documents which they used to report their sexual assault case to the BOE and the police. You can download it below. Make sure to make it relevant to your city/prefecture as the template references Nagasaki .
Hyogo AJET has also received advice from Police in regards to reporting assault as well as general information to keep in mind.
You’re likely to have a better chance of contacting an English speaking police officer between 8am and 5pm. You can report a crime at the closest police station to the crime, or the closest one to your residence.
There are interpreters in the head office in Kobe who will come to your police station if yours doesn’t have English-speaking officers. So even with language barriers, you don’t need to bring anyone with you to make a report, although it doesn’t hurt if you’d like the support.
On Female Officers
The police agreed with the earlier statement by the lawyer that a female officer is better for women because they are likely to be more empathetic to the victim. Keep in mind that not all police stations have female officers so it may take time to link you up with a female officer if you request for one.
If the crime happened while you were travelling, it may be better to report it where the crime happened (i.e if you were located at a different city or prefecture) . It’s possible to conduct investigations across prefectural lines, but it introduces complications. The exceptions are instances of drug crime, firearm crime, and yakuza crime, which any prefecture’s police can investigate easily in any prefecture so you might be best-served by your prefecture’s police.
If the crime was way far off, not the neighboring prefecture, your local police will be informed and be kept up to date but they will pass the investigation over to local police. The nationality/residential status of the suspect should be irrelevant.
But if the crime occurred while outside Japan, for example while you were travelling in South Korea or any other country Japanese police can’t do anything at all.