Homicide (Japan)


January 18, 2022

Murder crime (satsujinzai) is a crime that involves killing a person (murder), and in a broad sense, the crime of murder (Articles 199 to 203 of the Penal Code) stipulated in Chapter 26 of Volume 2 of the Penal Code. In a narrow sense, it refers to the murder crime stipulated in Article 199 of the Penal Code. Murder in Japanese criminal law refers to intentional murder (see Article 38 of the Criminal Code), and if a person is killed by negligence, it is a manslaughter (Article 210 of the Criminal Code).


In the old criminal law, it was divided into manslaughter and manslaughter, and it was murdered in advance, manslaughtered when killed with poison, and manslaughtered in other cases. In addition, manslaughter was subdivided according to its mode, and the statutory penalties were different for each. However, such a distinction does not exist under the current law, and in any form, murder can be established if another person is intentionally killed. Therefore, it is a comprehensive crime type compared to other countries, and the statutory penalties are quite wide.

Protection Law Benefits

The benefit of the protection of this crime is human life.

Object of this sin

The object (object) of this crime is a "person." The question is about the beginning (distinguishing the fetal) and the end (distinguishing the dead) of a person. Beginning of a person If you kill a person, you will be murdered, but if you kill a foetation, you will be guilty of murder, which is lighter than murder. ). Some of the criminal myths and judicial precedents in Japan are exposed (all are exposed under the Civil Code). The end of a person If a living person's body is damaged and killed, it is a "murder crime", but if the corpse is only damaged, it is a lighter corpse destruction crime than a murder crime. In modern times, the three-symptom theory and the brain death theory are in conflict, and the legal position of organ removal from brain dead has become a problem.


Japanese law is based on the territorial principle (applicable when the place where the crime was committed is in Japan, on a Japanese-flagged ship, or on a Japanese-registered aircraft). However, since human life is extremely valuable, it is stipulated that murder charges are applied to a wide range, not limited to territoriality. Therefore, it applies not only to domestic offenses (Article 1 of the Penal Code), but also to foreign offenses of nationals (Article 3 of the Penal Code) and foreign offenses of non-national persons against Japanese nationals (Article 3-2 of the Penal Code).

Murder (narrow sense)


The object of this sin is a "person." Due to the nature of this crime, this "person" does not include a corporation and refers only to a natural person. In addition, it is necessary to be someone other than the actor, and suicide is not a murder crime.


Murder is a deliberate offense (Criminal Code, Article 38, Paragraph 1). Although there was no intention of murder, if another person is killed by assault or injury, it is not a murder crime but an injury fatal crime. If a person is killed by negligence without intention of murder, assault, or injury, he / she will be manslaughtered (or a special type of manslaughter, such as manslaughter or manslaughter).

Legal sentence

The statutory sentence for murder is the death penalty or life imprisonment or imprisonment for at least 5 years. Due to the revision of the Penal Code in 2004, the lower limit of the sentence was raised from the conventional "3 years or more". Of course, it is possible to sentence a sentence of less than 5 years due to legal reduction or reduction of allowance. If the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Regulation of Criminal Proceeds (Organized Crimes Punishment Act) is applied, the statutory sentence is weighted to death sentence or imprisonment for life imprisonment or imprisonment for 6 years or more (organized). crime

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