Record 889 children met sex offenders via online community sites in 1st half of 2016

 (Mainichi Japan)

A record 889 children under 18 in Japan suffered sexual abuse after meeting their offenders via online community sites during the first half of this year, according to a report released by the National Police Agency (NPA) on Oct. 20.

The figure is up by 93 from the corresponding period in 2015, the report said. In response, the NPA and other parties concerned are set to request operators of online community sites — websites and apps where strangers can interact — take thorough measures to prevent further damage.

By type of offenses, 348 children were subjected to acts in violation of juvenile protection ordinances, 268 were victimized by child pornography, and 225 by child prostitution. Twenty-one children were victims of rape or other serious offenses.

The most common reason given by those children for meeting potential offenders was “money and goods,” cited by 231 children, followed by reasons including “they were kind and gave me advice” cited by 138 and “to enjoy others’ company” by 119.

By age, 227 of the victims were 17, followed by 16-year-olds at 222, 14-year-olds at 164, and 15-year-olds at 155. There were 121 children aged 13 or under, with the youngest aged 9.

Asked if they had received school instructions on the use of the internet prior to the crimes, 416 children said they didn’t know or remember, 29 children said they had frequently received instructions, and 242 said they had received guidance occasionally. Fifty-five children said they had never been given such instructions.

Of 738 children whose use or non-use of content-based filtering services was known, 647 said they weren’t using such services.

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