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Introduction: The Development of Victimology and Victim Support in Asia (From Victims and Criminal Justice: Asian Perspective, P 1-44, 2003, Tatsuya Ota, ed. -- See NCJ-202214)

NCJ Number
Tatsuya Ota
Date Published
44 pages
After tracing the historical development of victimology in Asia, this introductory chapter provides an overview of the recent victim support movement in Asia.
The review of the historical development of victimology in Asia focuses on the development of victimological studies and the creation of academic societies of victimology. Victimological studies appeared in Asian countries at a relatively early stage of the movement, which began after World War II. Japan saw victimological publications as early as 1958, and they were present in Taiwan in the 1960's. An article on compensation orders was published in India in 1965, and in the late 1970's victimology gradually spread throughout Asia. Victimization surveys have been conducted in Japan and Korea since the 1970's. Victimology in Asia entered a new phase when the Japanese Association of Victimology was founded in 1990 as the first academic society of victimology in Asia. Two years later, two societies of victimology were established in Korea and India. In profiling the current status of victimology and victim services in Asia, this chapter first considers the conventional legal status of victims in Asia. This discussion encompasses the restitution/compensation order, civil action, complaints and compoundable offenses, a victim's complaint as a prerequisite for prosecution ("antragsdelikte"), private prosecution, and victim complaints against prosecutors' dispositions. A section on state compensation in Asia addresses its historical development, its character and scope, and the compensating agency and financial resource. A section on new trends in victim assistance in Asia considers the legal status of victims in criminal proceedings; witness protection and the prevention of revictimization; and the protection of sexual violence victims, child victims, and domestic violence victims. The concluding section of the chapter focuses on the theory and practice of restorative justice in Asia. It notes that restorative justice programs such as a victim-offender mediation program, family group conferencing, or sentencing circles are not present in Asia, with some exceptions. In practice, however, prosecutors with discretionary powers often urge offenders to seek reconciliation with their victims before deciding on a final disposition in some countries, notably Japan. Some manifestations of restorative justice exist in customary law and types of informal dispute settlement such as family conferencing and community mediation. In a concluding statement, the author urges an international exchange of information among countries to make it easier for each country to establish victim support systems that are suitable for the circumstances of each country. 82 notes


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