Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:11am BST
Pressure on Japan for stronger laws on child pornography
"A booklet entitled, ''Violence Against Children in Cyberspace'', is pictured at an office of Keiji Goto, a police officer-turned lawyer in Tokyo August 10, 2012. ''The average citizen is against child pornography, but I feel they don't act strongly on those beliefs. Whenever they face strong opposition, they tend to back down easily,'' says Goto, who in 2005 left the police force's cybercrime unit and became a lawyer, who now works with crime victims.
When police in Japan's old historic capital of Kyoto nabbed three men this summer for buying child pornography DVDs online, they made history: for the first time, someone in the country faces the possibility of jail time for possessing such material.
Japan is the only OECD nation that has not universally outlawed possession of child pornography and activists say the new, tougher local laws in Kyoto will not change that overnight.
With various manifestations of a fascination with the young and innocent as sex objects, from graphic versions of manga, or Japanese comics, to the "junior idol" industry featuring child models in bikinis, Japan has a considerable way to go to shed an image of pornographers' safe haven."