The Tokyo metropolitan government is considering regulations that would make it a criminal offense for anyone to request “nude selfie” photos from high school students.
The Asahi Shimbun reports that this is a big problem in Japan:
More than half of the 376 victims reported nationwide in 2015 were junior high school students while 40 percent were in high school, according to the National Police Agency.
Statistics from the first six months of 2016 showed the total was already running at 239 victims, compared with 207 for all of 2012.
Tokyo metropolitan government officials plan to start discussions this month and a draft regulation is hoped for by the summer, which will likely be a revision of an ordinance regarding youths.
If such a revision is passed, it would be the first ordinance in Japan barring such solicitations.
The majority of the images were sent at the request of people the victims met online. The victims had no real-life acquaintance in 80 percent of the cases.
According to the Asahi Shimbun report, perpetrators have been using blackmail and threats of violence to keep the victims quiet. Presumably, the Tokyo government believes criminalizing the request of such photos will make it easier for victims to report offenders before they can be intimidated into silence.
Nude selfies are an international problem since it is common knowledge that cell phones allow most people to take pictures and send them via email or text message instantly. The Daily Star reports a twist in which Chinese loan sharks are pressuring women into sending nude selfies as collateral for their loans, for example.