A 55-year-old graphic designer from Gifu has been found guilty of child pornography offenses in the first such ruling relating to computer graphics.
The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday sentenced Akashi Takahashi to one year in prison, suspended for three years, and ordered a ¥300,000 fine for creating and selling computer-generated nude images of children.
Prosecutors had demanded two years in prison and a fine of ¥1 million.
According to the ruling, Takahashi created computer graphic images of nude young girls in December 2009 and sold them to three people via an online service between April 2012 and March 2013 for a total of ¥4,410.
Presiding Judge Takahiro Mikami said the technical sophistication of the images suggested they had been created based on nude photographs, describing them as nearly identical to original images.
“Even if the images were created on the computer, we cannot view such acts as less malicious than (generating or selling) nude photographs,” the judge said.
The court reportedly found that three of the 34 graphics violated the Act on Punishment of Activities Relating to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
The defendant said he would immediately appeal the ruling, claiming that the images depicting an imaginary character he had created were nothing but pieces of art.
“I regret that the true value of art is not appreciated,” Takahashi told reporters at a news conference following the ruling.