The law, passed by the Japanese Diet last year, means anyone caught with child sex abuse images will face a prison term of up to one year or a fine of up to 1 million yen (£5,170).
The legislation brought Japan into line with other industrialised nations after years of international pressure.
It is the last industrialized country to ban child porn. It's reluctance is obvious in the soft sentences, the long delay, and in the unwillingness to touch anime and manga. While banning real porn is a step in the right direction in that it doesn't encourage the sexual abuse of children in the making of kiddie porn, leaving anime and manga unaffected encourages men to fantasize about child sex abuse increasing the probability of actual CSA occurring. Many may argue otherwise, but the reality is, sin is progressive!
Japanese legislators have waited a year to enforce the change to give people time to dispose of offending images.
A year! A whole year! Nobody needs that much time to cleanse their homes and computers of child porn; a month should be plenty of time. The Diet was just being wimpy, afraid to rile the myriad perverts in Japan.
|Anime depicting child abuse will not be outlawed|
According to the National Police Agency, crimes relating to child abuse images have shot up in the past decade with at least 600 children a year falling victim to paedophile directors and photographers.
In a government survey in 2002, 10 per cent of Japanese men admitted owning images of children.
But campaigners have expressed dismay that manga and anime depicting child abuse will still be permitted after its publishers and opposition politicians said it would be a curb on free speech.
Masatada Tsuchiya, a member of the ruling Liberal Democrat party: “I believed we should go a step further and take a look at manga and animation in which children are sexually abused.
“Of course freedom of expression is important. And I love manga. But some of the things out there are so depraved they aren't worth defending.”
|Manga is a Japanese word referring both to comics and cartooning|
“By outlawing the possession of child pornography with the intent to satisfy sexual interest, we make it harder for people to trade in such material.”