Japan: Bill takes aim at child porn holders

Bill takes aim at child porn holders, The Japan Times Online: “Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kyodo News, Bill takes aim at child porn holders

The ruling coalition has compiled a bill to stiffen the law against child prostitution and child pornography by criminalizing the possession of such pornographic material for personal use, sources said Friday.

While the current law does not cover individual possession of child pornography, the revised bill states, ‘Nobody should own or keep child pornography,’ and stipulates a prison term of up to one year or a fine of up to ¥1 million for violators, they said.”

The bill also requires Internet service providers to contribute to preventing the dissemination of child pornography, which occurs across national borders, and to cooperate with authorities in investigations, they said.

The bill does not cover pornographic animation or computer graphics, only focusing on photography.

The Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling coalition plans to submit the bill to the ongoing Diet session through June 15, but is not expected to be able to reach an agreement with the Democratic Party of Japan, the main opposition party, over the legislation.

While the DPJ is now considering compiling its own revision bill, some of the party’s lawmakers have voiced concerns about punishing those who only own child pornography, with a senior member saying, “It may lead to unfair investigations.”

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