Number of ‘revenge porn’ cases in Japan poised to rise

Shukan Jitsuwa May 7
Shukan Jitsuwa May 7

At the end of November of last year, a law came into effect to combat a rise in a type of crime dubbed “revenge porn,” or the distribution of sexually explicit content for retaliatory purposes.

A report released on April 2 by the National Police Agency revealed that 110 individuals across Japan consulted with law enforcement about such a crime between the law’s enactment and the end of the year.

According to Shukan Jitsuwa (May 7), the situation seems poised to only get worse as a solution to the problem remains elusive.

The perpetrators were a current former partner in 68 of the 110 cases, with most of the victims (99) being women. In 65 cases, the victims were in their 20s or younger.

“Of (the 65) victims, 42 were threatened with the release of sexually explicit content,” says a writer who covers the Internet. “In 22 other cases, the victims were sent explicit content from a former partner.”

Making the content accessible to third parties — such as the posting of a video or image on an online forums or social-media networks — represented 18 consultations. This aspect is especially problematic, says the aforementioned writer.

“As a means of dealing with the problem, police request that Internet service providers delete content,” says the writer, “but it is very difficult to completely erase something that has already been diffused throughout the Internet.”

The first arrest for the crime was in February: Fukushima police took a 33-year-old male into custody for scattering about 50 nude and semi-nude photos of his ex-girlfriend in a parking lot in Koriyama City. Through March, a total of seven arrests were on the books across Japan.

In March, Tokyo police arrested Yasuhiro Muramatsu for posting nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on Twitter
In March, Tokyo police arrested Yasuhiro Muramatsu for posting nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on Twitter
Violators of the law face a prison term of up to three years or a 500,000-yen fine.

The issue was brought to the public’s attention after a former boyfriend of an 18-year-old girl uploaded images of her to social-networking sites before and after he killed her in Tokyo’s Mitaka City in 2013.

Shukan Jitsuwa tells its readerships that the easiest way to avoid being a victim is simple: Don’t allow for such photos or videos to be taken.

With so many of the victims being young people, Journalist Yoshio Kubota recommends that education begin in middle and high school.

“To not teach that committing a revenge porn act is wrong or that allowing for such a photo to be easily taken (as a victim) is not acceptable,” says Kubota. “Without this kind of warning, I think legal changes will be in vain and just bring chaos.”

Source: “Kongo mo fue-sona ribenji poruno,” Shukan Jitsuwa (May 7)

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.

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