National / Crime & Legal

Release of explicit images without consent to be criminalized

Kyodo

The Lower House on Tuesday passed a bill that would penalize people who have posted explicit images of former partners on the Internet, an abuse of trust and a phenomenon that has come to be known as “revenge porn.”

The bill is expected to be enacted Wednesday with the approval of the Upper House.

The legislation follows a high-profile case of stalking and murder last year in Mitaka, western Tokyo, in which a man harassed a former girlfriend by posting images of her online. The bill was crafted by a group of lawmakers led by members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Under the bill, offenders who distribute such images could face up to three years in prison or a fine of up to ¥500,000. Provision of the images to a third party for distribution could lead to one year in prison or a fine of up to ¥300,000.

In addition, the bill would reduce from seven days to two the period in which Internet service providers must delete such images upon request by the individual who uploaded them.