Japan sees record number of child pornography victims

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Tokyo (dpa) – The number of victims of child pornography in Japan rose to a record-high 383 in the first half of 2015, police said Thursday.

The number was 18 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier, and the highest since the police starting compiling such data in 2000.

The police took action against 659 individuals, up 13 per cent from the year before, over the production and distribution of child pornography, the National Police Agency said.

Many of the affected children were victims of spy cameras, often placed in toilets in schools, trains and other public places, it said.

Most victims were aged 12 to 18, but 60 individuals were younger, of whom 31 were sexually assaulted, according to the police statement. About 90 per cent of the children were female.

About 40 per cent of the victims were tricked into sending revealing “selfies” to producers of pornography, the agency said.

Last year Japan introduced a revised law to ban child pornography, after international criticism for previously being the only major industrialized country without such legislation.

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