Japan Refuses to Pass Legislation Banning Child Pornography Possession

Every day on this site, readers and writers alike debate all sorts of issues. For every topic that gets brought up, there are always at least a couple of commenters who fall on opposite sides of the argument. However, there’s one viewpoint that’s pretty hard to disagree about and that’s the belief that child pornography is wrong. It’s pretty shocking then when the Telegraph reports that the government of Japan has refused to pass legislation that would make the possession of child pornography illegal.

This is not to say that child pornography is completely acceptable in Japan. In fact, the police have increased their attempts to find and arrest those that sell it with 2009 having a record number of related arrests. However, the possession of it is still legal and the government claimed that the recent bill attempting to change that would “infringe individuals’ freedom of expression.”

From the Telegraph:

“‘We are urging all the political parties here to ban the possession of child pornography in the present session of parliament, but I am not at all optimistic that it will happen,’ said Keiji Goto, a lawyer and chairman of the Forum for Creating a Society That Does Not Tolerate Child Pornography.
In 2009 the government submitted a bill to revise the law on child pornography but lost the general election in August before it could be enacted.
The [Democratic Party of Japan] opposed the bill and instead called for the definition of child pornography to be narrowed down, while acquisition for money and multiple acquisitions would be made illegal.”

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that there will always be a market for child pornography and Japan is, at least, trying to make sure people aren’t profitting from it. However, by not doing everything they can to lessen the demand (by scaring people out of possessing it), they aren’t doing enough to make sure children are no longer harmed in this way.

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