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Japan Bans Child Porn (Finally)

Japan Bans Child Porn (Finally)

Japan has finally banned the possession of child sex-abuse photos, making it one of the last countries in the developed world to do so. Previously, Japan was the only state in the 34-country Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that did not ban child pornography.

The penalty for possession of the material newly defined as illegal can be as high as 10,000 dollars and a year in prison.

The ban does not include images of underage children in Japanese-language comics known as manga. In Japan, manga is popular among all ages and a multi-billion dollar industry.

The BBC said analysts noted widespread resistance to the new law from people in the manga field, free-speech advocates, and publishers. The Japan Magazine Publishers’ Association, which represents 90 different publishing companies in Japan, came out against the new law. In a statement posted in June, the Association said the law may “put a strain” on people in the creative industries.

The new law comes at the same time that child sexual abuse has risen in Japan. Last year, police found 1,644 cases of child sexual abuse, a shocking ten times higher than just ten years ago. Authorities noted that more than half the arrests stemmed from cases involving selling photos or videos over the internet. The law allows for people who already possess the now-illegal material to get rid of it within a certain timeframe without penalty.

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