« 富岡製糸場 世界に誇る近代日本の原点 | トップページ | 今日のイチオシDreamNews »

2014年6月23日 (月)

児童ポルノ 所持の禁止を一掃の契機に

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Revised child porn law should help eradicate such photos, videos
児童ポルノ 所持の禁止を一掃の契機に

A revision of the law banning child prostitution and child pornography was enacted on Wednesday and will probably be put into force by the end of July. We hope this will be an opportunity to eradicate child pornography, which preys on children.

Child pornography means obscene photos and videos of children aged below 18.

The revised law has newly incorporated a provision prohibiting personal possession of and taking possession of child porn. Anyone found guilty of being in possession of child porn for the purpose of satisfying one’s sexual urges could face up to a year in prison or a maximum fine of ¥1 million.

At present, regulations prohibit only such activities as production, transfer and selling of child porn images. Introduction of punitive measures against personal ownership of child pornography was left unaddressed for a considerable time on the grounds that they could impinge on the privacy of owners of pornography and there were fears investigators could abuse their authority.

However, there is no room for doubt that purchasing and collecting child porn photos or videos are a serious infringement on the human rights of children who are the targets of the camera. Banning the possession of child porn is vitally important.

To ensure that innocent people who receive child porn images via e-mail do not become subjects of police investigations, a proviso has been added to the revised law that punitive measures should only be applied to the “possession [of child porn] based on the voluntary intention” of a person involved. This is adequate from the standpoint of preventing arbitrary investigations by authorities.

Offenses at all-time high

It is worth noting that Japan has been the only member of the Group of Seven industrialized nations that has not prohibited possession of child pornography. In joining other industrially advanced nations in banning such porn, it is important for Japan to beef up international cooperation to root out child pornography.

In defining child pornography, the revised law has added words to the effect that the term signifies “photos and videos that inordinately expose or focus on children’s sexual parts.” Some people, however, have criticized the wording as ambiguous.

There should be a clear-cut distinction between punishable possession of child porn and such instances as parents taking photos of their children without clothes for the purpose of recording their growth.

The number of child porn cases being reported by police is on the rise, mainly due to the spread of Internet use. Police uncovered 1,644 cases in 2013 throughout the country, an all-time high, according to the National Police Agency. The figure is nearly 10 times higher than a decade ago. There were 646 victims of reported child porn offenses last year, the agency said.

Some cases involved children who were injured when they were raped or molested during the process of producing porn. Sexual abuse damages children both mentally and physically and seriously affects the formation of their personality. Should the images be posted online, the victims’ agony and humiliation could continue indefinitely.

In reference to deleting child porn from the Internet and preventing its spread on that medium, the revised law includes a nonbinding provision calling for Internet service providers to do their utmost in this regard. The law also calls for improving measures to protect children subject to harmful influences mentally or physically after being victimized in child porn offenses. Active efforts by the government and related organizations in this connection are indispensable.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 22, 2014)


« 富岡製糸場 世界に誇る近代日本の原点 | トップページ | 今日のイチオシDreamNews »





« 富岡製糸場 世界に誇る近代日本の原点 | トップページ | 今日のイチオシDreamNews »