UNICEF urges Tokyo to ban possession of child pornography

by Mizuho Aoki

UNICEF on Thursday called on Tokyo to take steps to ban child pornography to prevent children from falling victim to sexual exploitation.

While the group welcomed a decision by a working group of nine ministries and agencies to cut off access to child porn sites without notifying their operators, it urged lawmakers to do more.

“Through the Internet, the number of victims is increasing. That’s the reality. It is an urgent issue in the country,” Agnes Chan, a good will ambassador for the Japan Committee for UNICEF, told reporters in Tokyo.

“What we aim for is a society where people do not watch, buy, possess or make child pornography. And the current law is inadequate,” Chan said.

UNICEF, together with the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Association of Japan and some 60 other organizations opposing child pornography, called on the government to revise current child prostitution and pornography laws and ban the possession of obscene images of children.

“If more citizens seek to achieve a world without child pornography, I believe there will be a positive movement toward realizing such a world,” Chan said.