Amazon Japan Says Goodbye to Covert Child Porn

In the Empire of Child Pornography: AMAZON JAPAN REMOVES CHILD PORN FROM THEIR WEBSITE  May 2009

by Jake Adelstein and Polaris Project Japan

“Idols” in Japan refer to pin-up girls, teen pop stars,  and generally young models.  However, prepubescent “idols” are called “junior idols,”  a word which has been co-opted to distribute child pornography.
The internet and bookstores and major telecommunication companies subscription services often sell “junior idol” photos and movies, and the sexual depictions in them have become more extreme in recent years.

The term “child pornography” as used in  the Act on Punishment of Activities Relating to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and the Protection of Children bans photographs and recording media which depicts any pose of a child engaged in sexual intercourse or any conduct similar to sexual intercourse. Also, the Act terms child pornography as visual materials with any  pose of a child wholly or partially naked.

Although many of the “junior idols” DVDs and photo books don’t directly violate the law, they are full of scenes introducing young school girls and boys, wearing revealing, skimpy bikinis, or wet t-shirts and or speedo briefs– or posing for sexual acts—and these scenes clearly made to arouse or stimulate the viewer’s sexuual desire.  There’s no one who sincerely doubts it’s pedophile junk food.

Polaris Project Japan spent several months researching the photo albums and DVDs on major online store including Amazon Japan and made a list of 136 such DVDs and books with 8-17 year-old children depicted in sexually provocative poses and requested Amazon Japan to stop selling them.

Responding to the request, Amazon Japan removed 84 items from their online store this May. Polaris Project welcomes the initiative taken by Amazon Japan continues to advocate on this issue.

Author’s note: Japanese bookstores now regularly carry “junior idol” materials with sexual themes, text, and poses, and there are several pornographic magazines which include “junior idol” sections.  Japan is still one of the few countries where owning child pornography is legal.

For more information about Amazon’s decision to remove the DVDs read the article on Sankei Shimbun on May 18, 2009:
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/crime/090518/crm0905180136001-n1.htm (in Japanese)

Human Trafficking In Japan: An Older Report But Still Worth Reading

From 2006 to 2007, I worked on US State Department sponsored project to study human trafficking in Japan, and contributed a large portion of the final report. At the time, Japan had serious problems with a thriving trafficking industry.  I would reluctantly have to say that things have improved a great deal since the original report was written. Human trafficking in Japan hasn’t been eradicated but there seem to be fewer victims and the harsher penalties and enforcement have made it a less profitable business venture. However, you may find the report interesting in its discussions of links between anti-social elements and Japanese politicians. The link to the documentary and the printed report should be available by clicking the red map of Japan. 

The Kabukicho area used to be a hot bed of human trafficking but like many parts of Tokyo, it has been cleaned up considerably.
The Kabukicho area used to be a hot bed of human trafficking but like many parts of Tokyo, it has been cleaned up considerably.

 

This report, while now out of date, does give good insight into Japan's sex industry and the criminal elements involved in it.
This report from 2007 does give good insight into Japan's sex industry and the political and anti-social forces that make the industry ripe for exploitation.

Suicides Using Toxic Fumes Soar in Japan

In the first chapters of Hanayagi Genshu’s book Nigetara Akan!, she outlines the problem of suicide in Japan shockingly clearly — one person every fifteen minutes dies by their own hand in Japan. This article? Just more proof of the problem.

From the New York Time Website

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

October 31, 2008 TOKYO (AP) — More than 870 people have killed themselves in Japan by inhaling toxic fumes from household chemicals this year, 30 times more than the total for all of last year, the government said Friday. Continue reading Suicides Using Toxic Fumes Soar in Japan

Akihabara Massacre: Preventable Tragedy?

by Katie Preston

edited by Jake Adelstein

On June 8 near Akihabara station, seven people were killed and ten others injured in a random act of violence committed by a troubled young man. The suspect had rented a van, purchased a knife, and driven to Tokyo in order to kill strangers indiscriminately, perhaps to express his unhappiness and desperation.

TMPD at a crime scene from long ago.
TMPD at a crime scene from long ago.

Continue reading Akihabara Massacre: Preventable Tragedy?

Rainy Day Yakuza #10,001

a conversationI was knocking back drinks with a former bodyguard in the Yamaguchigumi, and it was raining outside.

He is about fifty years old, six feet five, and has arms that are bigger than my legs.

I was sitting on the tatami listening to the rain outside, and while he lit up his twentieth cigarette of the day I said,

“I love rainy days.”

He didn’t agree. Continue reading Rainy Day Yakuza #10,001

Welcome to the other side.

We at the Japan Subculture Resource Center have been working to provide you with the latest insight into Japan’s lesser known institutions. This blog will help you find the latest information on the “other” Japan – that largely unknown to the foreign public. Topics such as organized crime (ヤクザ, the Yakuza) and other strange and pervasive mores and institutions will be brought to light.

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