Japan to criminalize possession of child pornography

Lolicon manga magazine covers as pictured in IDEA magazine, Japan.

The Japanese Sangiin (参議院 = House of Councillors = the senate) are expected to vote this month in favor of a law punishing possession of child pornography with up to one (1) year in prison.

As of now, it is legal to possess child porn in Japan.

CNN writes:

Although production and distribution have been banned for 15 years, Japan lags behind other major developed nations in forbidding people from simply holding the sinister material.

People who possess child porn will be given one year to dispose of their “sinister material” if the law passes. Yes, the CNN news report calls it “sinister”, but I won’t stop there. I will call it “devilish”! That will show that I am more upset than CNN, thus a better person. How you gonna counter this? Revolting, maybe?

CNN also mentions what they call a “loophole” in the law:

And it won’t cover the country’s popular manga (comic book) and anime (animation) industries, which include depictions of violent sexual abuse of children in their publications.

This might change though. CNN quotes an activist in favor of the law:

Fujiwara said a discussion about some of the imagery in manga and anime – content that would be illegal in many Western countries – would be a natural “next step.”

One industry representatives argues against this by referring to scientific research – as if that would matter – and adding:

“The goal of the law itself is to protect children from crime,” he said. “Banning such expression in animation under this law would not satisfy the goal of the law.”

Another representative said that he personally may be “disgusted” by some of the content in manga. However:

“But rich, deep culture is born from something that might not be accepted by all,” Chiba said. “We need to allow the gray zone to exist as a necessary evil.”

The article ends:

Some experts suggest the situation is born out of Japan’s long-established patriarchal society.

Whatever the cause, changing a culture may prove a lot harder than changing a law.

Indeed, but I think we Westerners are doing quite well at the moment in trying to change Japan to become more like us.

2 thoughts on “Japan to criminalize possession of child pornography

  1. The only issue of any importance here is that governments have found in so-called child porn (when a drawn, painted or written text) and terrorism an excuse to legislate thought. People should think about this and asking themselves what else may a present day or future government consider dangerous to society? A religion? A new political system?
    Freedom of expression underpins all other rights, lose it and we may as well throw the entire Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the trash can.

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