Project “A Society Where Victims and Offenders Coexist”

“A Society Where Victims and Offenders Coexist (A society Respectful of Victims’ Rights)—Further Developments in ‘Criminal Law and Gender’ Research”

Key questions

  • What is Multicultural Conviviality in criminal policies of the 21st century? -Consider support for crime victims, the victims’ rights, rehabilitation of criminal offenders, and prevention of recidivism.
  • Neither severe punishment nor rehabilitation of criminal offenders can heal victims. Then, what do victims need?

Research Purpose and Approach

When thinking about crime, it is necessary to consider countermeasures from the viewpoint of victim rights and relief, rehabilitation of perpetrators and prevention of recidivism. The problems victims suffer, however, have long been ignored, and have only recently come to be regarded as problems, and attention is now being paid to the “rights of victims.” Japan is now at a significant turning point in terms of justice. In fact, in modern society, assailants will likely return to society even if he/she committed crimes except for in extremely rare cases where assailants receive the death penalty (in advanced countries, in particular, no death penalty exists except in Japan and some states in the United States). That is, we must assume a society where victims (and their families) and assailants (and their families) coexist (the term “coexist” here does not include situations such as acceptance and mutual assistance, but simply existing in the same space).

Furthermore, among the six clusters of the 21st COE, the “Physical Liberty and Sexuality Cluster” studied criminal law from the viewpoint of gender, with emphasis on crimes where women and children were victims, and obtained insight on this matter (findings were also published in Volume 5 of COE Books and no change in members). This project will further this research and also extend and apply the perception obtained in the GCOE to the entire crime issue (for example, we intend to address crimes by foreigners, and the problems foreign victims face).

This project will promote research that seeks ways to realize a society where the rights of victims are well established, victims can live in peace, and assailants are rehabilitated and never commit crime again. It focuses on the various phases of criminal justice from the viewpoint of international comparison, social investigation, and from examining the legal systems through economic analysis. As for criminal justice, there are not many opportunities for joint research, although the necessity of cooperation between practice and research is acknowledged. Therefore, this project will have professionals in each field of criminal justice as research members with aiming to integrate the viewpoints of practice and research.

Research Activities

This project will schedule seminars and carry out surveys to pursue discussions over victims’ rights and relief, rehabilitation of offenders, and prevention of recidivism. We will collaborate with overseas researchers and professionals, and utilize international networks while engaging in domestic research and surveys.

We organized many workshops, inviting researchers from inside and outside of Tohoku University and practicing professionals in FY2008. Our activity in FY2009 centered around the survey on “Mine Rehabilitation Program Center” which is Japan’s first PFI (Private Finance Initiative) prison. We will publish our achievements in a book series in FY 2010.



Project Leader

MIZUNO, Noriko
(GCOE Project Sub Leader)


Noriko Professor, School of Law, Tohoku University

Research Fields

Civil Law, Family Law






Name Affiliated Institution/Organization
YANO Emi University of the Ryukyus, Graduate School of Law (Associate Professor)
(Former Reseach Project Leader)
YOSHIDA Hiroshi Tohoku University, Graduate School of Economics and Management (Professor)
ONAGI Akihiro Hokkaido University, Graduate School of Law (Professor)
KAMISE Yumiko Rissho University, Faculty of Psychology (Professor)
KOJIMA Taeko Sendai Bar Association (Attorney at Law)
GOTO Hiroko Chiba University, Faculty of Law and Economics (Professor)
KONISHI Takako Musashino University, Faculty of Human Sciences (Professor)
SAITO Minoru Tokyo Bar Association(Attorney at Law)
TAKAHASHI Naoya Rissho University, Faculty of Psychology (Lecturer)
MIZUTANI Hideo Sendai Bar Association (Attorney at Law)
YOSHINO Satoshi Ministry of Justice (Assistant Director)
John DUSSICH California State University Fresno, Department of Criminology (Professor), Tokiwa International Victimology Institute (Director)
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