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Japan seeks to make online insults punishable by jail time

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So, as we are seeing elsewhere, the response from lawmakers to unfortunate events is to clamp down on our freedoms. In Britain, a lawmaker gets stabbed to death by a man practising his religion in the way he believes he is entitled to, an the Home Secretary goes on TV and states that the problem is online anonymity.

Now, in Japan, we have a situation where a clearly unwell woman takes her own life, and the J-govt are now taking it upon themselves to legislate against perceived hurty words. And a year in the clink, too.

These cause célèbres are being brigaded by lawmakers to snuff out our freedoms.

4 ( +18 / -14 )

These cause célèbres are being brigaded by lawmakers to snuff out our freedoms.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Measures to address suspects jumping bail were called into question after former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn fled Japan for Lebanon while awaiting trial in 2019. There have also been a string of other incidents in Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures.

GPS trackers and no-go zones for the crime of online insults? I would like to see this put into effect when someone, maybe a foreigner, insults a political leader here. Like with Ghosn, it would highlight the absurdities of the Japanese "justice" system.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I think the problem is going to be defining an insult.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

How about making it "illegal" to be a thin skinned loser crybaby?

There is a big difference between telling someone who CHOSE to be on a "reality" show that they are rubbish and should die and telling the mother of a missing child that she murdered her daughter.

First is not very nice and bad taste, the second is where this law should be used.

3 ( +16 / -13 )

Yeah this is going to end well……

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Actual threatening language is a different matter.

Which is what is being addressed. Nobody is going to jail for voicing an opinion or using a bad word. Calm down.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

between telling someone who CHOSE to be on a "reality" show that they are rubbish and should die

well, until she kills herself. Why was the ending left out?

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Good to see.

It will be a great day when the first of these gutless, faceless keyboard bullies gets jailed.

Good move, Japan.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

I would think mental health would have been a priority as we all know, most celebs aren’t in their right mind anyways. They need someone to put the finger at but there is more to this legislation. I am sure it will include anti vaccine or anti government sentiment. Can’t have you all speaking badly about your new dictators. Let’s see what happens.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

OK, so if this becomes law, will the J-govt be able to charge individual posters who post here nothing but insults against Japan? Or how about JT itself for allowing it? Of course the whole raison d'etre of this proposal is because of people in Japan who have been seriously damaged by online bullying, posting false information, etc etc. But you can see where this "could" go. And you know, maybe it's not a bad thing. LOL

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Blacklabel..

well, until she kills herself. Why was the ending left out?

People have said a lot worse to me but I didn't top myself. Just like millions of others.

The abuse didn't help her mental health problems but didn't cause them either.

The rational response to name calling isn't to kill yourself.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

The abuse didn't help her mental health problems but didn't cause them either.

The rational response to name calling isn't to kill yourself.

Its irrelevant you reacted to a situation.

so its "fine" to abuse someone online to the point where they kill themselves. I see.

she was just "irrational" and already "had problems". victim blaming 101.

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

unfortunately this whole policy will likely just be used as an excuse to censor one side of a conversation, not to actually focus on any needed change. It will depend on WHO is being talked about first, then WHAT was said second. cause you know some people "deserve" to be abused online, right?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

IMO opinion if someone is that much of a loser to harass people online, they deserve whatever they get.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Japan is going Chinese. Criticise the LDP on here now and you'll be off to prison.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

These are indeed Orwellian times. The "right" people will determine what is "insult". A slippery slope! If a person dares to disagree, using logical argument, that act may be deemed "insult".

Ridiculous. And frightening for people can actually think.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Ridiculous. And frightening for people can actually think.

People who can actually think do more than resort to saying everything they don’t like is a slippery slope or Orwellian.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Talk about a slippery slope! And who will decide what is deemed "insulting"? I could list quite a few PERSONS HERE who have been rather insulting. Throw them ALL in jail? Heck NO! When they hurl personal insults, it only shows to me they no real argument, just ad hominem nonsense.

And if one utters an unflattering word toward the dear leaders, will it also means time in the klink like in Thailand?

Actual threatening language is a different matter.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I would very rarely agree with zichi(on almost nothing), but I do agree that it is a very slippery slope!

Rather dystopian.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I'd best not be critical about Boris Johnson on here any more, and Americans in America cannot rely on the US constitution. If you are rude about Biden or Trump on here, when you next arrive in Japan the Narita snatch squads will be waiting to Ghosn you.

Interesting timing. If the Japanese people vote LDP in the coming election, this law will be passed and lots of them and their teenage kids are likely to be imprisoned as a result of it.

I guess it gets the kids out from under your feet for a year, but if you have invested in their education, hoping they might have a career in medicine or tech, prison in Japan will place a glass ceiling over their options. A lifetime standing outdoors holding a coloured stick may impact on their ability to move out of the family home and care for you when you are old.

Still, the large increase in prison numbers will mean jobs and state investment, building more prisons. And after a year in prison, your kids should get up earlier, complain less and tidy their rooms when you tell them to.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

IMO opinion if someone is that much of a loser to harass people online, they deserve whatever they get.

This new law can’t happen fast enough.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Complete bs.

Specially in wake of the enforcement of non legal rules against insults by social networks, they already have shown that there is no way in hell this is going to be fair, reasonable or useful.

There are heated arguments in real life, and people might end up insulting each other in the heat of an argument in real life, even if they do not mean it, and that in itself has never really been seen as a problem.

But when it comes to online stuff, basically the same thing now is been regarded as a crime?

This will only be another wall to freedom of speech, since people will be afraid to say anything negative against anyone, since it could be constructed as an "insult" and therefore "illegal".

Making insults illegal is one of the most regressive and stupid policies, but it fits perfectly this brainless society that started last year.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

As much as hateful speech is detestable, this is not the answer except in the most extreme cases.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Bob Fosse

Today 07:02 pm JST

Ridiculous. And frightening for people can actually think.

> People who can actually think do more than resort to saying everything they don’t like is a slippery slope or Orwellian.

I would disagree with the statement of opinion, but some might find it insulting.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"penalties for online insults" is an intentionally vague phrase. It's a tool to control speech, aka censorship with the strong arm of govt.

Big Brother doesn't like non-conforming thought.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The difficulty with any such restrictive measure is how it will be applied and weather we trust those tasked with interpreting it.

When our rights and liberty is restricted it is always for the best possible reason or only temporary, and thus ant bite by ant bite our freedom is removed.

Classic example of a “temporary” measure, British pub opening hours were regulated and severely restricted as a temporary war measure in ww1. While the hours of opening have recently become more liberal the fact of regulation is still there more than a hundred years since the purported reason ended.

Don’t get me started on the “temporary” income tax, that is still in place after more than 200 years!

So be careful of what you or politicians wish for to deal with a single or temporary problem. The “solution” might never go away!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

""At present, the penalty against insults is detention for less than 30 days or a fine of less than 10,000 yen. The proposed amendments will introduce a prison term of up to one year and raise the fine to up to 300,000 yen."

""one year and raise the fine to up to 300,000 yen.""

Still NOT enough, it wont even cover the attorny fees, LOL

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

One Year in Jail and 1,000,000 yen should cover the attorney fees and keep all the scums inline.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Blacklabel...

so its "fine" to abuse someone online to the point where they kill themselves. I see.

So we have to live our life wondering if after every interaction the other person is going to self harm?

You think suicide is a rational response to childish name calling?

Victim blaming? If YOU kill YOURSELF.... Who else is there to blame?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

This will be interesting as once passed, the law will apply to all equally. Any Japanese netizen who insults Xi or Moon online will be liable. The embassies or China and South Korea can file a complaint and the Japanese citizen will face prison. That may include LDP diet members, who on occasion have been known to express robust opinions online.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A slippery slope to censorship. The onus should be on the network sight.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Everyone should get used to using a VPN.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A slippery slope, indeed @zichi 8:46pm yet, the onus resides with the site.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Calm down freedom fighters.

You won't go to jail for bashing Japan like you always do.

This is about cyberbullying which some have used it to target individuals. This type of law will be more common around the world not just in Japan.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

This seems like a law designed to specifically protect politicians from criticism by the public, journalist and media companies!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

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