KYOTO (majirox news) — The Kyoto Prefectural Government has drafted an ordinance to make it the first prefecture in Japan to outlaw possession of pornographic images or video featuring children under 18.
Under Japan’s Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Protecting Children, the manufacturing and trafficking of pornography featuring children under 18 is prohibited, but possession of child porn is not illegal.
If Kyoto passes the draft and forms an ordinance outlawing possession of child pornography, it will seek to issue governor’s orders to destroy the material and levy fines of up to 300,000 yen ($3,913) on offenders.
Additionally, the ordinance will apply to anybody producing, buying or downloading from the Internet child pornography featuring children under 13. These offenders will become liable to imprisonment of up to one year and maximum fines of 500,000 yen ($6,522).
Kyoto Prefectural Assembly members will submit the ordinance draft to the assembly after it is convened on Sept. 21. The Kyoto Prefectural Government hopes to enact the ordinance from January next year.
Japan has often received criticism overseas for its perceived lax attitude toward child pornography, production and trafficking which were only outlawed in 1999, and possession remains legal.