TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested employees at an antiquarian bookstore in Chiyoda Ward over the alleged possession child pornography, a case that is a nationwide first, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 20).
Police have accused Takeo Yamada, 43, and two other employees of Shonando Bookstore, located in the Kanda Jimbocho area, of possessing with intent to sell a photograph collection containing child pornography. Officers also seized about 220 books containing explicit material, including nude girls aged four and 5.
According to police, customers sold photograph collections to the store which in turn resold them for prices starting at 7,000 yen. One of the books was priced at 290,000 yen.
Yamada and one other suspect admit to the allegations, while the third suspect denies the charges, police said. “I did not know that I was dealing with books [containing child pornography],” the third suspect was quoted, according to Nippon News Network (Feb. 20).
In 2015, a revision to the anti-child pornoraphy law made the possession of explicit material featuring minors illegal. Previously, only the production and sale of such content was against the law.
According to police, the case is the first time that an antiquarian bookstore has been busted for the possession of child pornography.