Tokyo Wants to Restrict Youth Sex
Wednesday, September 22, 2004 Posted: 10:13 AM JST
Japanese media report today that Tokyo's top law and order official wants to restrict school-aged children from having sex. Yutaka Takehana, Tokyo's first vice governor in charge of law and order, is quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying that this "would convey the determination of adult society" to prevent youth sex. According to his plan parents and guardians in Tokyo would be legally responsible.
Japan's sexually active youth increasingly worries the staid conservative leaders of this nation. According to Masako Kihara, an AIDS expert and associate professor at Kyoto University, 20 to 30 percent of Japanese 16-year-olds have had sex and nearly a quarter of these have four or more partners. The legal age of consent in Tokyo is 18. Recent reports show that AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise among young people, and that usage of condoms is declining.
But creating a law to limit sex is not the way to solve this problem. Restriction will be impossible to impose and monitor. It will only drive sex underground and even farther away from safe practices. It will also prevent young people infected with sexually transmitted diseases to search for help. What Japan really requires is better sexual education at its schools. Few Japanese school-children are aware of the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and the need to protect oneself. Most have no understanding at all about AIDS.
Keywords: opinion_item national_news society
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