On 11 January 2008, when the amendments of July 2007 to the Act Concerning Prevention of Spousal Violence and Protection of Victims (Domestic Violence Prevention Act) came into force, the new Basic Policy on the Measures for Prevention of Spousal Violence and Protection of Victims, which has been developed in accordance with the Act, was made public.
The new Basic Policy is more solid and detailed than the previous ones. With regard to foreigners living in Japan, the new subsection "Respect for Human Rights of Foreigners" states as follows: "Bearing in mind some observations that the relevant personnel do not always pay full attention to the need to respect human rights of victims who are foreigners or with disabilities, it was confirmed, in the Act, that the relevant personnel must respect victims' human rights regardless of their nationality or status of disability. It is necessary to fulfill the functions with full regard to victims' conditions, bearing fully in mind that the victims to be protected under the Act obviously include foreigners living in Japan (with or without status of residence) and persons with disabilities".
Specifically, the new Basic Policy suggests, "Information on where to seek for help may be disseminated in foreign languages for foreign victims". With regard to the management of the original files of alien registration, it reminds the relevant municipal officers that "it is necessary to make it fully known that the original files of alien registration are confidential as a rule, which should be managed with adequate care".
The Cabinet Office had called for public comments on the new Basic Policy, in August-September 2007, before its formulation. Some of the comments submitted by NGOs supporting female foreign victims of domestic violence are apparently reflected in the Basic Policy.
"Basic Policies on the Measures for Prevention of Spousal Violence and Protection of Victims", Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office (Japanese)
“Japan: Domestic Violence Prevention Act Amended”, Hurights OSAKA News in Brief (July 2007)