National / Crime & Legal

National Police Agency data show 47 teachers were charged over child porn in Japan in 2018

JIJI

The number of teachers in Japan charged with child pornography more than doubled to 47 in 2018 from 21 the previous year, according to National Police Agency data viewed by Jiji Press.

The number of people charged in overall child pornography cases in the country last year increased by 612, or 35.9 percent, from the previous year to a record 2,315.

Of the 47 teachers, 16 were in their 30s, followed by 14 in their 20s, 10 in their 50s and seven in their 40s.

Of the teachers, 23, or the largest number, were charged with possession of child pornography, followed by production, at 13. Nine teachers were charged with secret filming or photographing, which mostly took place in bathrooms and changing rooms at schools where they were working.

The number of people charged in overall child prostitution cases in Japan in 2018 dropped to 725, down by 116, or 13.8 percent, from the previous year.

But the number of teachers charged with child prostitution rose to 18 from the previous year’s 12.

“Teachers can prepare for crimes without raising suspicion because they are well aware of students’ pattern of behavior and the structure of buildings,” said Arata Sakamoto, secretary-general of Lighthouse, a nonprofit organization in Tokyo that supports victims of human trafficking and other abuses.

“Sex crimes against children are considered to have a high risk of recidivism. Measures to prevent recidivism, including a ban on convicts from taking jobs with a chance to make direct contact with children, need to be established,” Sakamoto said.