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Mosaic mavericks: Live-sex streaming posing problems for Japan’s police

Shukan Bunshun Oct. 16
Shukan Bunshun Oct. 16
TOKYO (TR) – Since the early 1980s, the use of the mozaiku (or mosaic) process to blur an image and obfuscate genitalia has been standard practice within Japan’s adult video (AV) industry for evading violations for public obscenity.

For the nation’s regulators, that was acceptable until the Internet came along. According to Shukan Bunshun (Oct. 16), one site in particular is currently posing problems.

On September 30, a total of 60 investigators from five administrative districts across Japan, including Tokyo and Kyoto, raided the offices of Homepage System in Osaka on suspicion that its operations assisted in the digital distribution of obscene material.

Investigators claim that the company serves as the management of FC2 Live, a file-sharing site hosted in Las Vegas that has served as the platform for the streaming of uncensored pornographic content from Japan.

“On FC2 there is no mosaic applied to the footage,” says a writer covering digital matters, “and it is a video-sharing site that operates on an all-you-can-watch basis.”

The footage is at high resolution and often includes live sex featuring amateur performers. The various channels on the site can charge users a fee to watch.

The writer adds that FC2, whose membership is currently at 20 million, is especially popular with the elderly since it provides “a sense of security” in a safe environment. “Among seniors it has spread like wildfire,” says the scribe.

Though hosted overseas, FC2 was founded by a Japanese national for Japanese users.

Article 175 of Japan’s Penal Code prohibits the distribution, sale, or public display of obscene writings, pictures, or other materials.

“Because it is a site that clearly targets users in Japan it is a problem to the police,” says an investigator.

This year, police have been cracking down on the site’s content producers. On June 6, officers from the Kyoto Prefectural 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 streamed the action (uncensored) on FC2.

Officers raided Homepage System for allegedly assisting in the digital distribution of obscene material
Officers raided Homepage System for allegedly assisting in the digital distribution of obscene material
Three months before, Saitama police arrested Kunimitsu Umebayashi on charges of public obscenity. Since November of last year, Umebayashi had sex with approximately 150 amateur actresses live on FC2.

“However, FC2 itself is out of the jurisdiction of the police,” says the investigator.

With such restrictions, the police, which knows that the founder of FC2 has ties to Homepage System, may be handcuffed in cracking down on the company. Thus far, no arrests have been made.

“In the end, the goal of the police may be self-regulation with regards to the distribution of videos considered obscene.”

Source: “Kaigai ero saito ‘FC 2’ tekihatsu he nihonjin sogyo-sha no rikken mo shiya ni,” Shukan Bunshun (Oct. 16, page 47)