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Tougher laws advocated to restrain 'revenge porno' posters

24 Comments

When pop singer Neil Sedaka crooned "Breaking up is Hard to Do" back in 1962, no one could have possibly envisaged a means by which disaffected suitors could vent their spleens by posting compromising photos and personal information about their former flames on the web for the whole wide world to google and ogle. This is not, we concede, a new phenomenon, but thanks to Weekly Playboy (Feb 3), we now have a better picture of the situation as it relates to Japan.

The Japanese term such nasty activity as "Fukushuu poruno" (revenge pornography). It's illegal, of course, but depending on the circumstances and individuals involved, it can be prosecuted under at least four different laws. These include dissemination of obscene material (with a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment); intimidation (two years); coercion (three years); and criminal libel (three years).

Should the victim be a minor, moreover, then the juvenile protection law comes into effect, and the maximum sentence can be upped to five years imprisonment. And those who willingly copy and forward illegal materials are also liable under the provision in the Criminal Code that deals with abetting.

Last October, an extreme example of such crime was widely reported in the media. After engaging in such "revenge pornography" against a former teenage girlfriend, a man in the western Tokyo suburb of Mitaka stabbed her to death.

There have also been cases of schoolchildren refusing to attend school after information about them was circulated among their classmates.

The incidences of such crimes are keeping the police busy. In 2012, the most recent year for which the full statistics are available, 27,334 incidents -- which include not only "revenge porno" but also the posting of pornographic images on the web without purely malicious intent -- were reported, suggesting the annual number will soon reach the 30,000 mark, if it hasn't already. From 8,121 cases reported in 2008, the number rose sharply to 14,755 in 2009 and passed 20,000 by 2011.

Former actress and Diet member Junko Mihara, who also serves as head of the LDP's women's division, told Weekly Playboy's reporter: "Since society is in complete agreement that acts of 'revenge porno' constitute crime, we can finally begin to get moving on countermeasures."

"As female victims of such crimes fear doing anything that would anger the man they're going with, they'll often give into demands that they pose for photos or allow themselves to be shot by a hidden camera," Mihara continues. "In the worst cases they'll be forcibly coerced into posing."

Mihara says she wants to see the law changed so that victims have the right to demand that such photographs or movies be speedily removed from sites.

"The first law that we need to change is the so-called 'provider responsibility law.' At present, with the exception of offenses related to candidates during political campaigns, for which removal can be demanded within just two days, for other cases, it takes around seven days. This time needs to be reduced."

Mihara says two possibilities are now under consideration: drawing up a completely new law or revision of the existing statute.

"If the law as it now stands had worked properly, the number of violations would not be increasing; nor would there be so many female victims who feel they have no means of fighting it. People have committed suicide over these crimes. I think bolstering the law and increasing the severity of punishments would work to suppress them."

"It's unthinkable that a person can restore a broken relationship through intimidation," asserts Mihara. "When I was young, there was always a way to talk a person out of doing something crazy. When people do these kinds of things, that's really the end of the friendship."

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
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Who remembers the case of the HK actor who took his PC in for repair?

You know how that went!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is why you don't record it at all. If you're dumb enough to do it then you should face the consequences.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It must be terrible to at one time be in love with someone only to find that later he would do something as despicable as put your photo on the internet.

I even think it's poor form to tell anyone who you have had sex with.

What ever happened to decency.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you want to take some sexy photos of your cute Japanese girlfriend then a good way is to buy her some lingerie first.

It's amazing how excited Japanese women can get after being dressed up in sexy underwear.

After that, it's natural to follow up with a question like "Well, you look so good in it, could I just take a few snapshots...?"

Quite often she'll accept it...

However, these shots are just for you and her and should never ever be shared among friends or on the internet.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Before I got married, I filmed myself with a few girls. Some girls like it, some don't. In my experience, Japanese girls like it a lot more than western girls, whether that's because of a lack of sexual hangups, more confidence in their bodies, or less fear about what could happen to the videos, I don't know.

Of course there is some risk of the videos ending up on the internet, but usually they won't. It's not like every guy out there is the type to take them and put them on the net. So girls should use their discretion - does the guy seem sleazy? Is he trustworthy? If you feel like he might put them on the net, and you don't want them there, then don't let him take video. Or keep your face out of the pics. But there are lots of people making lots of video, who never share it with anyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Regardless of sexual preferences, people who allow themselves to be photographed or filmed naked or while having sex are putting themselves at risk. I'm not saying it's their fault if such pictures/videos end up online, but they're not entirely innocent either.

Trusting the other person is very nice and romantic, but you also need to count on human nature.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I will never forget the time I got on an elevator in Shinjuku one Sunday, just looking for a restaurant during lunch time and there was some white dude with his pregnant beautiful Japanese wife?? Girlfriend?? Who knows! But anyway, I was looking and looking for a good place to eat, with my wife and kids, and I see this same couple now sitting down, waiting to get into some restaurant, and the white dude had a very nice, expensive digital camera, and I just happened to catch a good look at his pics on his digital camera that he was too busy looking at. THEY WERE ALL OF HIS LOVELY, very pregnant Japanese wife, and all NUDE!! Thanks white dude and sexy Japanese wife for helping me wake up on that Sunday in Shinjuku! So anyway, the point is many people do get turned on taking pics, videos etc..of their girlfriends, wives etc...not as strange as some people here make it out to be! Another cool thing to do is just hook up your video camera on a tri pod and connect it to your big screen tv, you do not have to tape anything but pretty cool to see you and your woman getting it on also on the big screen in HDTV!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

For those who are wondering why. Almost every guy I dated has asked for pictures at some point or other, usually very early on. And that's both Western and Japanese men. I always refused because of the risks involved, but you usually get a lot of pressure, which I imagine is hell for the insecure ones or the ones eager to please: "so you don't love me", "so you don't trust me", "you are such a prude". Then there are the ones who enjoy it, and that's their rght too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It won't stop. Because the girls love it. They know they look as good and tight as they'll ever be, for posterity's sake.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bear, you've never heard of sexting?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you allow yourself to be photographed or video-recorded in a situation that is best kept private, then you open the door for abuse of that intimacy when/if the relationship sours. The obvious solution is to prevent the exposure to begin with. But, in the narcissistic modern world we live in, people post their own "selfies" and invite trouble.

If the images are taken involuntarily, however, as also by paparazzi, the photographer and person pressuring the subject(usually a girl or woman) ought to be prosecuted for their crimes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Fukushuu porno" - if one pronounces the first word in English, it seems quite "appropriate"...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The prudishness is strong in this crowd.

The issue here is how to prevent people from posting (presumably) consensual nude pics of former lovers, not how offended your sensibilities are about nudity, sexuality, and who is producing and consuming it.

Here is the scoop for you uptight folks: worry about your own bedroom. Let other more experimental people have fun how they see fit with the bodies they were given. As long as they don't hurt you, why would you care?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You'd have to be extremely obsessive, not to mention possessive, to even consider it.

Trevor, the kids are growing up with a smart phone/devise grafted to their hand - and they record EVERYTHING. One thing the age of technology has certainly done is fuelled the narcissism and ego of humans. They do it as a matter of course, and sex isn't exempt.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

On a slightly different note, the U.S. Supreme Court is grappling with the issue of restitution for victims who have been put on the internet against their will. In this particular case, an uncle of a minor raped the minor, recorded the rape, then posted it on the internet. He was subsequently caught, convicted, sent to prison, and ordered to pay $6,000 restitution. Later, another man was caught with the video on his computer which he got from the internet. Seeing as the victim's authorized restitution came to a total of $3.4 million, this guy was slapped with almost the entire bill as restitution. He's the one appealing to the Supreme Court, claiming he can't be held responsible for so much of her restitution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is such a bizarre issue. Whether you're single and in a relationship or married, why would you actually NEED porn pictures of your partner? You'd have to be extremely obsessive, not to mention possessive, to even consider it. And your partner would have to equally as...'disturbed', 'deranged', 'short a brick', 'missing something upstairs'? As for the legal issues, I think the law's good enough as it stands. You can't over-legislate against stupidity, nor should you even try.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Have to agree, why on earth would you want to make a video? I must be missing something, I don't get it. Plus, no video (or pics) and no revenge porn. Seems a bit obvious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who in their rigtht mind, unless you are a porn star, would want to pose nude to satisfy someone's demented view on having sex?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't want those old pictures of my lo chorizo being splattered all over the web!!!

Oh, stop bragging!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Have I been misinformed or is this another case of Japan having a law that is simply not enforced?

It is as you say, but politicians love to pass redundant laws to "solve problems" for which there are already legal solutions. This way politicians can get their names in the paper, and make their constituents believe that their officials are actually doing something. The above article is a prime example of the process.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is a problem for men as well! I don't want those old pictures of my lo chorizo being splattered all over the web!!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This has become a serious issue in other countries, too. Girls, take care of yourselves! No matter how much in love/lust I may be with someone, there's no way he is ever, ever going to persuade me to pose nude for photos.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The mentality of someone who would dop this is beyond me. Actually puzzled why people take photos and movies of themselvesw doing it with partner while dating. That seldom ends well.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Mihara says she wants to see the law changed so that victims have the right to demand that such photographs or movies be speedily removed from sites

As far as I'm aware there doesn't need to be a change to the law to do this. My current understanding is that photographs that show faces require the permission of the photographed individual, and that posting/publishing/displaying any photograph without the permission of the photographed individual is currently illegal, and that they can not only require you to take the photograph down, but also sue you.

Have I been misinformed or is this another case of Japan having a law that is simply not enforced?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

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