Japan takes action against cyber-bullying: Internet users

Reading time: 2 minutes

Japanese online abusers now face up to a year in prison, with the government trying to crack down on cybercrime, which involves online abuse of people after the suicide of a 22-year-old professional fighter and TV star, who fell victim to such criminals on social networks, writes Bloomberg.

The new sanctions for public abuse on the internet are part of a draft revision of an older law that went into effect on Thursday, allowing fines of up to 300,000 yen (about $ 2,200) compared to the only 10,000 yen that it provided for the old law, as well as sentences of up to 12 months in prison, compared to 29 days in the previous version.

“It is important to try to eliminate this type of dangerous insults and attacks, which sometimes even caused some people to lose their lives. It must be said that the revision of the law in this form does not abusively restrict freedom of expression, “said Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa on legislative changes.

The Federation of Japanese Bar Associations opposed the change in the law, saying it could threaten justified criticism of the internet and freedom of expression.

The Ministry of Justice replied in an online question and answer session that the law will not be used to punish public criticism of politicians. He also said that stricter measures would not affect the definition of public abuse, which provides

“… To show contempt for someone, without reason, in a way that could reach the knowledge of a large audience or unspecified persons.”

Hana Kimura, a professional fighter and well-known TV star, died in 2020, after hateful comments were posted on her Twitter account following an incident in which she lost her temper and got into an altercation with a colleague. set from the distribution of the reality show “Terrace House”. At least two people – both men – were sent to prosecutors in connection with the incident, one of whom was fined 9,000 yen after repeatedly urging her to end her days.

In another landmark case this year, a man was charged with online abuse of a certain Takuya Matsunaga, who became known after the trial of a 90-year-old man who was behind the wheel of a car, fatally injured. wife and child.

Legal proceedings to identify such anonymous assailants have been simplified following another legislative change last year, according to the Japanese publication Mainichi.