Japan cops cracking down on uncensored porn films streamed from overseas

Shukan Post July 25 - Aug. 1
Shukan Post July 25 – Aug. 1
On March 6, Kunimitsu Umebayashi, a 35-year-old resident of Saitama Prefecture, engaged in sex acts with an 18-year-old female junior college student inside an apartment in Hakata Ward of Fukuoka. Non-obfuscated footage from the session was broadcast live on sharing site FC2 Live.

Since November of last year, Umebayashi has had sex with approximately 150 amateur actresses under similar conditions. With viewers of the site being charged 40 yen per minute, the operation did amazingly well, collecting approximately 100 million yen in revenue.

But earlier this month the business hit a snag. Saitama Prefectural Police arrested Umebayashi, the actress from Fukuoka and a 46-year-old advertising executive, who was an investor, on charges of public obscenity, because, by law, films available in Japan are required to have genitalia properly censored.

According to Shukan Post (July 25 – Aug. 1), law enforcement in Japan is slowly cracking down on the illicit broadcasts hosted on sites like FC2 Live.

“The sale of uncensored DVDs has been targeted,” says a local news reporter. “But uncensored videos uploaded to the Web go virtually unchecked. This is of great concern to law enforcement.”

In summary: Japanese police have discovered the Internet.

According to the magazine, the push started in April with the Kyoto Prefectural Police, which appointed a head to its cyber crime division. The unit didn’t waste any time.

On June 3, officers from the Kyoto police barged into an apartment in Osaka’s Kita Ward and discovered a young man and woman engaged in sex acts atop a bed as a camera focused on the pair recorded the action.

Takashi Matsumoto (Twitter)
Takashi Matsumoto (Twitter)
Similar to the previous case, the footage was being distributed on FC2 Live. Officers subsequently arrested the ring leader of the operation, Takashi Matsumoto, 30, and a 19-year-old female junior college student.

Like Umebayashi in the Saitama case, Matsumoto, who likes to be referred to as “Mr. Hat,” a reference to the fuzzy, leopard-print cap he prefers, had developed a very lucrative business model.

According to prefectural police, which seized computers, phones and a rack of costumes during the bust, the group earned more than 30 million yen over the past six months.

Atsuo Takagi, a lawyer specializing in Web-related affairs, says that the two cases are rare given that police typically file charges related to the crime of indecent exposure in cracking down on obscene films on the Internet, and not public indecency.

The lawyer explains: “It seems the decision is based largely on the idea that an unspecified number of people can view the live broadcast.”

According to Shukan Post, illicit operations use sites like FC2 Live, which is hosted overseas, in an effort to evade Japan’s censorship laws.

“To view an uncensored film is not illegal,” says Takagi. “However, the act of downloading such a film from a site and uploading one for others to see are crimes (in Japan).”

The lawyer says that businesses make a common mistake in understanding the law.

Shukan Post July 25 - Aug. 1
Shukan Post July 25 – Aug. 1
“With the server overseas, the application of criminal laws is debatable,” says Takagi. “However, if it is clear that the content is intended for Japanese viewers in Japan, criminal laws are possibly applicable.”

Shukan Post says that it is not just about crimes related to indecent exposure or public indecency; violations of the Japanese Copyright Act are also of interest. Seven adult video companies, including Soft On Demand, have brought a lawsuit against FC2 Live seeking 65 million yen in damages for copyright violations.

“While the site is headquartered in the United States, it is clear that the service is intended (for consumers) in Japan,” reads the claim from the companies, which are members of the Intellectual Property Promotion Association. “The unauthorized use of intellectual properties is not acceptable.” (A.T.)

Source: “’Mushusei ero doga’ hoi ami ga shikukare hajimeta, ” Shukan Post (July 25-Aug. 1, pages 154-155)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

Facebook Comments