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A draft bill to clamp down on child pornography and prostitution — if enacted into law — would mark a major, but imperfect, step forward for Japan, according to experts at a meeting to discuss the topic.

About 50 people, including lawmakers and government officials, gathered April 7 at the Swedish Embassy for a meeting of the World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. “We are on the verge of seeing a law, that will be passed hopefully in the current session of the Diet, that will lead to some big changes in the Japanese government’s approach to the whole issue of child sexual abuse,” said Ron O’Grady, Chairman of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) International.

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