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Ban on possession of child porn takes effect in Japan

Kyodo

Japan finally moved to ban the possession of pornographic photos and videos of children on Wednesday, amid growing international criticism as the only Group of Seven industrialized country that had not passed a law on the matter.

After the Diet amended the law on punishment of activities relating to child prostitution and child pornography, the revised law took effect on July 15 last year. But a one-year moratorium was put in place in order to give individuals who had such images time to dispose of them.

Under the revised law, individuals may face a prison term of up to one year or a fine of up to ¥1 million for possession of pornographic images of children.

The revised law defines child pornographic photos and videos as those that are intended to expose or focus on children’s sexual parts.

However, manga, animation and computer graphics are not subject to punishment under the revised law in light of freedom of expression. There are concerns from legal experts that investigative authorities might abuse the law.

The number of child pornography cases covered by law enforcement by the country’s police stood at 1,828 in 2014, nearly doubling from 2009.

“We would like to continue to gear up for the crackdown,” said an official of the National Police Agency, which conducted a nationwide intensive patrol in cyberspace over the month through Tuesday.

“Requests (from owners) to scrap porn photos and DVDs surged within this one year,” said Toru Okumura, an Osaka-based lawyer who has dealt with a large number of child porn cases.

Noting that individuals might be investigated by police based on purchase history even if they no longer have child porn images, Okumura said the impact of the law revision would be enormous.

Given possible ambiguous cases, including images of individuals’ own children who are naked as part of their growth records, Okumura said it is desirable to consult a lawyer if it would be hard to tell whether such cases could violate the law.

  • Jonathan Fields

    This is a good step. I wonder when the usual suspects will show up to call this “global criticism” racist and anti-Japanese.

  • Alae Bennani

    When will Japan realize how retarded it is to censor genitals in porn movies? No other country does this. I think its about an ancient law that havent been yet deleated . MEH

    • Zhuinden

      I think it’s odd that they censor genitals as if they were terrible, but cockroaches in the butt are okay!

      • Alae Bennani

        Gross . They should check r/UnecessaryCensorship

    • Slade Johnson

      Why not try an original thought instead of copying the top comment off reddit?

      • Alae Bennani

        Because Im a KarmaWhore

    • Bigred2989

      None of the politicians there want to be known as “the pervert who got tired of seeing pixels in his porn.”

    • Clickonthewhatnow

      An ancient law? No, it was brought to Japan by America when Perry busted open them gates.

  • tigerbedscene

    i cant help but wonder now if my fav japanese is a ped0

  • JEmlay

    When are they going to ban selling little childrens used panties in vending machines?