TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday announced that child pornography charges will not be filed against publisher Kodansha for a controversial photo featuring a member of popular pop group AKB48, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Mar. 12).
Comic book weekly Shukan Young Magazine, which is published by Kodansha, delayed the release of an issue originally scheduled to hit newsstands on January 12. The problem was the suitability of including an image featuring a topless Tomomi Kasai being fondled from behind by a young foreign boy.
The magazine offered readers an apology on its Web site. “The photo contains an inappropriate expression,” read a statement from the editorial department.
The photo in question includes the cover shot for the 21-year-old’s upcoming debut photo collection called “Tomo no Koto, Suki?” (Do You Like Tomo?), which was scheduled to be released (also by Kodansha) on February 4. A promotion for the book was supposed to appear in Young Magazine.
Kodansha subsequently cancelled the release of the book, and the publication of Young Magazine resumed later that month without Kasai’s photo.
Investigators said that charges related to violations of child pornography laws were not necessary since Kodansha worked swiftly to stop circulation of the photo.