Jun 14, 2022
Japan passes bill to make cyberbullying a crime punishable by prison 6/13/22 Transcript
Japan has passed a bill to make cyberbullying a crime punishable by prison. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Japan has passed a bill to make cyber bullying a crime punishable by prison. The new bill is a major step forward in the country’s efforts to tackle harassment online. Michiyo Ishida reports.
Michiyo Ishida: (00:14)
The bill proposed that cyber bullying or online insults be punishable with prison terms of up to a year and monetary penalty of up to $2,200. At present, the penalty for such offenses is detention for less than 30 days or a fine of less than 10,000 yen or about $75. What prompted the proposed changes was the suicide of a pro wrestler, 22 year old Hana Kimura who was harshly criticized by online comments for her performance on a reality show. She was called a gorilla and some demanded that she die. Kimura later took her life in 2020. Following her death, there were even comments that thanked her for dying. Her case sparked a huge public outcry. Analysts say it’s not clear what is the exact criteria for imprisonment in the revised law. The Bar Association is showing concerns freedom of speech can be suppressed.
Michiyo Ishida: (01:11)
Cyber bullying has been on the rise at an alarming rate in Japan. In recent years, even victims couldn’t escape hateful online comments. There have been cases of bullying involving a mother whose daughter has been missing in the mountains for three years, a father whose wife and daughter were run over by an elderly driver and died. Michiyo Ishida, CNA Tokyo.