• Kyodo News

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Singer Agnes Chan, goodwill ambassador for the Japan Committee for UNICEF, filed a request Tuesday with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party calling for a tighter ban on child pornography.

Chan visited LDP headquarters and gave a senior party official the signatures of 114,000 people who support a proposal to criminalize the possession of pornographic material involving children, even for private use.

Chan told LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Kosuke Hori that the law against child prostitution and child pornography should be revised to cover individual possession of child pornography.

The spread of child pornography — including photos and videos — has grown more common since the advent of the Internet, prompting many countries around the world to toughen their possession laws.

Last June, the LDP and its junior coalition partner, New Komeito, submitted a bill to the Diet to ban the possession of child pornography, even for individual use.

However, a competing bill presented by the Democratic Party of Japan would criminalize individual possession of child pornography only in certain cases, including when paying money to obtain such material.

At present, the ruling and opposition camps appear unwilling to compromise on their bills.

Chan was planning to lodge a similar appeal with the DPJ.

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