Victim Support Programs: A Comparison of the West and Japan

Miyuki Arimoto, Washington State University

Beginning in the mid-1960's, concern and support for crime victims has been rising, especially in the United States and England. Restorative justice programs have been an important tool for this support, not only in the United States and England, but in many other western countries as well. The same cannot be said, however, of Japan. In Japan, the legal system is not well set up for such programs, and the result is that the interests and concerns of victims and bereaved families generally are neglected. This paper provides a brief history of victim support programs in the United States and contrasts that history with what has occurred in Japan. Legal aspects of victim support, including the Victim's Charter, also will be discussed as part of the comparison between Western countries and Japan.

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Updated 05/20/2006