Damage to the corpse and abandonment


January 18, 2022

A corpse destruction / abandonment crime is a crime that damages, abandons, or obtains a corpse, ashes, hair, or something in a casket (Criminal Code Article 190). The statutory sentence is imprisonment of up to 3 years.


Protection Law Benefits

It is said that the piety of the public and the piety of the dead are the piety of the crime. There is also a theory that this includes the ex post facto effect of the personality rights that the dead had in their lifetime.


This guilty object is "a corpse, ashes, hair, or something in a casket." "Dead body" means the body of a deceased person, and a part (organ) of the corpse is also included in this. The case law also states that stillbirths are included in this as long as the shape of the human body remains.


This offense consists of "damage" and "abandoning" or "acquisition".


"Damage" refers to the act of physically destroying. For example, in 1950 in Miyashita-mura, Onuma-gun, Fukushima Prefecture, when a pregnant woman who was 10 months pregnant died, a custom called "two bodies" was practiced in which the pregnant woman and the foetation were separated and buried in the hope of post-mortem well-being. An incident occurred in which a person concerned was caught by the local police. After that, the Attorney General's Office stated, "It is objectively clear that such an act, albeit unscientific, is done with the intention of being more courteous in order to ensure the rest of the souls of the dead. It does not violate the interests of the protection law and lacks illegality, so it prevents the establishment of crimes.


"Abandonment" means abandoning an object in a way that is not recognized as a social burial, or abandoning it in a way that is not recognized as a customary burial. If the burial or cremation of a corpse does not conform to customary methods, the corpse will be accused of abandonment. If it is not recognized as a customary burial, it will be abandoned even if it is buried in a communal graveyard. In Japan, according to the Law Concerning Graveyards and Burials (Graveyards and Burial Law), in principle, burial and cremation can only be performed after 24 hours have passed since death or death (Article 3 of the Graveyards and Burial Law). ). In addition, burial of bodies and burial of burnt bones must not be done in areas other than the graveyard, and cremation must not be done in facilities other than the crematorium (Article 4 of the Graveyards and Burial Law). Those who intend to perform burial, cremation, or reburial must obtain the permission of the mayor of the municipality or the mayor of the special ward (Article 5 of the Graveyards and Burial Law). Burial at sea basically corresponds to the crime of abandoning a corpse, but if the conditions such as the fact that the corpse cannot be preserved on board the ship for hygiene reasons, the corpse is buried under the authority of the captain. Can be attached to (Article 15 of the Seafarers Act). In addition, bone scatter may be restricted by local ordinances. Normally, it requires a deliberate place-to-place movement to be considered "abandoned," and does not constitute a guilty case if the murderer only leaves the corpse on the scene. However, criminals in murder, manslaughter, abandonment of protection officers, etc. may abandon the corpse for fear of revealing the crime, and these criminals actively conceal in order to hide the crime on the scene. If you do, this will constitute a crime. Even if he self-confessed with the corpse, this crime applies because it involves movement from the scene. For those who are not obliged to bury, omission (only neglected) does not constitute this offense, whereas for those who are obliged to bury, omission (only neglected) can also establish this offense.

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