Child porn DVDs destroyed under local gov’t order in Japan first

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Child porn DVDs destroyed under local gov’t order in Japan firstECPAT/STOP Japan

KYOTO — A man’s 38-DVD child porn collection was destroyed here under the provisions of a Kyoto prefectural ordinance, it was learned on Sept. 13 — the first time child pornography has been disposed of under a local government order.

There is no national law to regulate simple possession of child pornography, though distribution is illegal. Under the Kyoto ordinance, however, anyone found in possession of child porn can be ordered to destroy it.

According to Kyoto Prefecture’s youth affairs department, the prefectural police reported on Sept. 7 that “there could be material covered by the ordinance” in the hands of a local resident. Two staffers from the youth affairs department were dispatched to work with police, and questioned the man in a room at a police station without any officers present. When the staff explained the prefectural ordinance, the man apparently agreed to comply. He played one of the DVDs in question to confirm its content, and admitted that the remaining 37 were also child porn. The man then destroyed all 38 discs with a pair of scissors and handed the remains over to the prefectural officials.

In July this year, Kyoto Prefectural Police arrested two men — one in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, and one in Yokohama — on suspicion of selling child pornography DVDs over the Internet. Their customers are not covered by child porn laws, but the Kyoto prefectural ordinance does contain penalties for anyone buying porn featuring children less than 13 years of age. Police forwarded the cases of three buyers to prosecutors under this provision in August.

According to the prefectural police, they traced child porn DVDs to the local man during the Internet sales investigation. They decided not to arrest him and instead called the prefectural government.

Mainichi Japan,September 13, 2012
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