A bill to introduce prison terms as part of tougher penalties for online insults was passed Monday at an Upper House plenary session, marking a major step toward tackling cyberbullying in Japan.

Moves to amend the country's Penal Code gained traction after Hana Kimura, a 22-year-old professional wrestler and cast member on the popular Netflix reality show "Terrace House," was believed to have killed herself in May 2020 after receiving a barrage of hateful messages on social media.

Parliamentary debate has centered on how to strike a delicate balance between tougher regulations and freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Constitution.