Japan Finally Bans Child Porn Possession
But law won't cover anime, manga depictions of abuse
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2014 2:07 AM CDT
Tokyo's Akihabara district is a center for anime and manga.   (Shutterstock.com/Sean Pavone)

(Newser) – After many years as the only major industrialized country where the possession of child pornography was still legal, Japan has finally taken steps to ban it. The upper house of the country's parliament has passed a bill that will punish people found with explicit images of children with up to a year in prison or a fine of up to $10,000. Implementation of the law will be delayed for a year to allow people to dispose of now-banned material, and it only covers real children: Pedophilia in manga and anime will still be allowed, reports the Japan Times.

Campaigners who say the law is long overdue also wanted child sexual abuse banned in manga, but representative of the industry say such censorship would restrict freedom of expression. The chief of one of the country's best-known manga houses admits that some of the industry's products disgust him and his colleagues. "But rich, deep culture is born from something that might not be accepted by all," he tells CNN. "We need to allow the gray zone to exist as a necessary evil."

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Observer
Jun 18, 2014 12:08 PM CDT
Japanese erotica is very weird and reflects their uptight culture. They promote violence against women and yet are very puritanical about actually showing genitalia. Now we learn that are just banning child porn. Wow - that is a sick society.
Code000
Jun 18, 2014 10:43 AM CDT
Will this dramatically reduce tourism by White-male Americans to Japan?
Izman15
Jun 18, 2014 10:03 AM CDT
Good, children should be protected. Also good that they didn't go overboard and ban literature and drawings. Murder is illegal writing about murder or drawing depictions of murder isn't same should be true. Freedom of though and expression is protected so long as it doesn't infringe on the well being or freedoms of others.