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Child Pornography in Japan


Is Japan the world's capital for smut, child pornography?

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By Yusof Sulaiman | Mar 17, 2008

Is Japan the world's capital for smut, child pornography?

(eTN) - In a stinging rebuke on one of the world's most advanced countries, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has criticized the Japanese obsession with child pornography.

"Japan should ban possession of child pornography and crack down on animated films, comic books and computer games that show children being sexually exploited," UNICEF said last week. "Child pornography that are banned in other countries are widely available on the Internet and on the street in Japan."

In a further rebuke on the Japanese culture, US Ambassador Thomas Schieffer wrote to Yomiuri, a leading Japanese newspaper, on January 31 urging Japanese lawmakers to "tighten" the law on smut. "Because it is legal to possess child pornography in Japan, it is almost impossible for investigators to obtain a search warrant to confiscate and search suspects' computers," said Schieffer.

Despite passing a “special law" in 1999 for the wide availability of child pornography, later amended in 2004, banning production and distribution of child pornography, it is not a crime to possess it in Japan.

What is banned in other countries is widely available on the streets and on the Internet in Japan, including images of child pornography in animated films, comic books and computer games software.

"Hundreds and thousands of children around the world will be sexually exploited and threatened if the Japanese law is not amended," adds UNICEF, "since Japan is an IT [Information Technology] giant known worldwide for its software."



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