Wednesday, July 6

Japan approves prison law for those who insult on the Internet | Digital Trends Spanish


A serious problem with cyber bullying Japan has, since the situation of harassment in social networks has reached unsuspected edges such as the suicide of the professional wrestler and reality television star Hana Kimura, 22, for Internet offences.

This has led the Japanese justice to decide to pass a bill to give jail sentences and heavy fines to those who insult on the net.

Under the country’s penal code amendment, which will take effect later this summer, criminals convicted of online insults can be jailed for up to a year, or fined 300,000 yen (about $2,200). It’s a significant increase from the existing punishments of detention for less than 30 days and a fine of up to 10,000 yen ($75).

Under Japan’s penal code, insults are defined as publicly demeaning someone’s social position without referring to specific facts about them or a specific action, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice. The crime is different from defamation, defined as publicly demeaning someone while pointing out specific facts.

Seiho Cho, a Japan-based criminal lawyer, warned that the revised law did not give any classification of what constitutes an insult.

“There needs to be a guideline that makes a distinction about what qualifies as an insult,” Cho said. “For example, right now, even if someone calls the leader of Japan an idiot, then maybe under the revised law that could be classified as an insult.”

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