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 White paper on crime 2003 Part 3/Chap.2/Sec.2/1 

1 Benefit payment systems for crime victims etc.

  In response to the indiscriminate bomb attacks by extremist groups in 1974, the Law Concerning State Compensation for the Victims of Crime etc. was promulgated on May 1, 1980 and came into force in January 1981. It came under the social background of increased public demand for governmental relief systems for victims, because little relief had been provided for the victims of such bomb attacks or random killings.
  Later, when incidents of indiscriminate injury and killing occurred such as the Sarin gas attack on Tokyo subway trains in 1995, the public became aware that victims of such offenses were in a terrible situation and there was a growing demand for support for such victims through improvement of the compensation system by state to crime victims. In light of this, the scope of eligible persons for the compensation by state was expanded and the amount of the compensation was increased according to the Law for Partial Amendment to the Law Concerning State Compensation for the Victims of Crime etc.
  Under the Law, the government pays crime victim benefits to bereaved families of those who are killed and to those victims who are seriously injured or disabled by offenses. The system has been established to support victims and their families who cannot receive any effective relief because the perpetrators do not have sufficient financial resources.
   Table 3-2-2-1 shows the application for the compensation to victims and amounts paid for the damage of criminal offenses for the past 10 years.

Table 3-2-2-1 Applications for crime victim benefits and amounts paid (1993-2002)

  The compensation is paid in a lump-sum, and is divided into 3 types: "compensation for bereaved families" paid to bereaved families of victims killed in criminal offenses; "compensation for disability" paid to victims disabled by criminal offenses; and "compensation for serious injury/sickness" paid to victims who suffered serious injury or sickness due to criminal offenses. Application for compensation is made to the prefectural public safety commission that has jurisdiction over the address of the victim, and based on this application, the prefectural public safety commission confirms the statutory requirements relating to the provision of compensation, clarifies the factual relation with damage from criminal offenses and determines whether the compensation shall be made or not. The application cannot be made after 2 years have passed since the date when the victims knew of the occurrence of the damage or after 7 years have passed since the date of occurrence of the damage.