Providers face child porn curb

Kyodo News

The government announced countermeasures Tuesday against child pornography, including a step to block access to indecent images of children on the Internet.

At a ministerial meeting on fighting crime, the government said Internet service providers would be required to block access to images if they are found to violate the law banning child prostitution and child pornography, officials said.

The providers will block access to such images based on a list of problematic Web sites to be compiled by a new body, the officials said.

“The crime of child pornography should not be tolerated, and we have to save the children who are being victimized,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan was quoted as saying at the meeting.

As part of the countermeasures, the government will make efforts to enhance counseling services for victims of child pornography and reinforce ethics education.

Japan has drawn international criticism for not prohibiting the possession of child pornography images by individuals.

Japan and Russia are the only countries among the Group of Eight major powers that don’t have laws banning possession of such images.