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Child pornography cases in ’12 hit record high

Kyodo, JIJI

Reported cases of child pornography hit a record high 1,596 in 2012, up 9.7 percent from the previous year, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

Police data collected by the agency showed child pornography is spreading on the Internet. In some 20 percent of child porn distribution cases, the same images or videos have been in circulation for five years or longer on websites and DVDs.

Police confirmed that 531 victims were under the age of 18, while the remaining 733 were considered minors based on an estimation of their age, according to the agency. The total, 1,264, is up 12 from the previous year.

The material in 184 of the 952 child porn distribution cases, or 19 percent, was produced five or more years ago and was previously uncovered. The 28 female victims in these cases were aged 10-17, and the videos included one made in 2001, the NPA said.

Child pornography was distributed via file-sharing software in 519 cases, up 1.4-fold. The use of this software is increasing every year, according to the agency.

“The number of detected cases increased as police strengthened crackdowns, but many victims have not been uncovered,” an NPA official said.

The agency will continue to crack down on child porn groups and users of file-sharing software for child porn distribution, according to the official.

The NPA also said a record 16,387 child abuse victims were referred to child consultation centers nationwide last year, up 42.1 percent from the previous year. The NPA started collecting data in 2004, when there were 962 victims. The figure has increased 17-fold since then.

“We have received more and more child abuse cases as public awareness over the issue grows,” an agency official said. “We hope we can address these cases at early stages in cooperation with child consultation centers.”

A total of 8,266 children under the age of 18 suffered psychological abuse, such as verbal abuse, and 5,222 faced physical abuse, the NPA said, adding 2,736 were neglected, including those who were not provided with food, and 163 faced sexual abuse.

Among the psychological abuse cases, 5,431, or 65.7 percent, involved one of the child’s parents being violent toward the other in front of the child.

After receiving police reports, child consultation centers take measures such as taking kids into protective custody.

  • RoyalRubbish

    Go to Akihabara and check out one of the many “junior idol” shops. Nothing but creepy middle aged men mouth-breathing in there. And don’t even get me started on the guys who date action figures and pillow covers that depict under age cartoon characters… But, you know, it’s a “weakness” to speak with a counselor or psychiatrist!

  • Ron NJ

    Fundamental problem: possession of child pornography is not illegal in Japan; only its distribution.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_pornography_in_Japan