Amazon Japan, Yahoo! Shopping and Rakuten, Japan's top Internet shopping networks, are exploiting children. That’s right. Young children.
I am a mother of three kids, ages 6 and under. On October 6, with my kids next to me, I typed the keyword “candy” into the Amazon Japan website, trying to find some cool Halloween loot. (The candy at the international supermarkets is WAY overpriced). However, no actual candy made it in the top 20 hits.
Instead, I saw a little girl, about the age of my first grade daughter, in panties, legs splayed in a sexual position. For sale: a pornographic photo book and DVD. This must be a glitch that Amazon has overlooked, I thought. Knowing that the right thing to do would be to report such content, I clicked on the link so I could report the seller to Amazon. And guess what happened next? Suggested content of EVEN MORE, WORSE images came up. I lost my appetite and began to shake out of shock and anger.
I posted my experience on my blog and I was flooded with people saying that they had similar experiences. Some news networks conducted the same search and came up with the same results, documenting this with screenshots.
After filing an IMMEDIATE complaint with Amazon Japan, these products from Candy Doll Collection, a child pornographic series with a cult following, were removed from their site.
It took a week, a very angry blog entry, and a threat of mass media. A WEEK.
However, they only removed the specific publisher I complained about, not similar content. There is appalling content still on their site. If you don’t believe me, try typing in keywords such as Idol Farm, Candy Doll Collection, U12 アイドル, ジュニアアイドル
But it is not just Amazon. The same content comes up on Yahoo Shopping and Rakuten, two other major shopping networks here in Japan. All publicly traded companies.
If they won’t do the right thing for legal reasons, perhaps they will listen to their customers and shareholders.
Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping. Please remove this content. Not in a week. Now. Next, report what you are doing to prosecute the sellers, publishers, modeling agencies involved, parents allowing their children to do this - they are all criminals. Next, tell the public what you will do to prevent this from happening again. And if you want to take it a step further, give the police a list of the perverts who buy this crap. Because they all are pedophiles.
In light of the kidnapping, rape and murder of the 6-year-old girl in Kobe, we need to think about what fuels these type of pedophiles. And, sadly, I believe that Japan’s top shopping networks add fuel to the fire.
I am updating my blog with updates on how the networks are responding and have started a petition to remove this content. Your voices are welcome and I am forwarding tips I get from readers now to appropriate authorities.
Editor's note: The writer's opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of Japan Today.© Japan Today