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Friday, March 30, 2007

Swedish queen urges more action to fight child porn


Staff writer

Japan's law enforcement bodies must collaborate with the private sector, including Internet service providers, to combat the sexual exploitation of children online, Queen Silvia of Sweden told a Thursday symposium in Tokyo against child pornography.

Speaking to a meeting on the prevention of online child pornography organized by the Japan Committee for UNICEF and the nongovernmental organization End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (EPCAT), the Swedish queen said she welcomed Japan's efforts to stop child porn but called for more regulations to stop the underground industry here.

"Much more action is required to establish and enforce global child protection standards," she said, adding that the sexual exploitation of children has reached a new phase with the Internet as its distribution method.

Queen Silvia, who is in Japan as a state guest until Saturday, was the patron of the Stockholm World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in 1996.

Former Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki was also a guest speaker at the symposium. He admitted that Japan remains an exporter of child pornography despite government efforts to break the networks.

"I still remember very clearly how Japan was named (as an exporter of child pornography) at the (Stockholm) congress in 1996," Tanigaki said. "It was a shocking event."

The government enacted the Law Banning Child Prostitution and Pornography in 1999 in reaction to being named at the Stockholm meeting.

However, law enforcement authorities in other countries continue to seize child pornography from Japan, according to a Swedish investigation conducted through online tracking systems used by Internet service providers and Web users.

Pornographic illustrations of children have begun to appear more on the Internet recently. Sexual illustrations of minors are not banned under the child pornography law.

Although a record high 315 people were detained in 2006 for violating the child pornography law, that number is believed just the tip of the iceberg.



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