Police set up team to care for child porn victims

Kyodo News

Police stepped up efforts Thursday to provide psychological support for victims of child pornography amid growing calls for a tighter ban on obscene material involving children.

The National Policy Agency established a team to analyze Internet images linked to potential child pornography cases, while calling on local police authorities to improve counseling services for children victimized by Web site postings and other related acts.

According to NPA data, a record 338 child pornography victims were identified across the country in 2008 — a number that an agency official called the tip of the iceberg.

The move comes at a time when Japan is facing criticism for the lack of laws prohibiting the possession of child pornography for personal use, and regulations restricting pornographic animation games.

Debate in the Diet on revising the law against child prostitution and child pornography has stalled due to mixed arguments over whether to prohibit the personal possession of child pornography.