Posted June 18, 2014 by VOA News in Commentary and News
 
 

Japan outlaws child porn possession

Japan’s parliament has approved a measure criminalizing possession of child pornography, a move that follows years of international pressure.

Under the new law, those found guilty of possessing child pornography will be jailed for up to a year or face a fine of about $10,000.

Japan was the only remaining major developed country that had not banned child porn possession. It outlawed production and distribution in 1999.

The new law does not cover anime videos, computer-generated graphics or the so-called manga comics that sometimes feature sexually explicit images of children.

Some lawmakers and other critics said they feared that such a crackdown on animated images or drawings would endanger free speech.

The upper house of parliament on Wednesday easily passed the bill, which had already cleared the lower house earlier this month.

The new law will take effect next month, but penalties for child porn possession will not be enforced for a year, in hopes many will dispose of the material.

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