Japan increases punishment for online insults to one year in prison following reality...

midian182

Posts: 8,156   +97
Staff member
WTF?! If you've ever posted something on a forum, social media, or pretty much anywhere on the internet, there's a good chance someone has thrown an insult in your direction. But imagine if the person dishing it out was jailed for up to a year for their behavior. Earlier this week, Japan's parliament passed a bill to make this scenario a reality.

Japan can already punish people convicted of "insultation" with a maximum of 30 days in prison or a fine under 10,000 yen (around $75). The amendment to the country's penal code, which will go into effect this summer, will increase the potential jail time to one year and the fine to 300,000 yen (about $2,200). Additionally, the statute of limitations on prosecution has been increased from the current one year to three years.

CNN writes that, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Justice, Japan's penal code defines insults as publicly demeaning someone's social standing without referring to specific facts about them or a specific action. That makes it different from defamation—also punishable under the law—which is defined as publicly demeaning someone while pointing to specific facts.

Lawyers warn the definition still doesn't explain what terms are considered insults that could be punishable under the law. There are also concerns over the legislation's impact on free speech—could someone be jailed for calling a politician an idiot? As such, the law was only passed after a provision was added that it would be re-examined every three years to determine its impact on freedom of expression.

The law comes after 22-year-old reality television star Hana Kimura died by suicide in 2020. The professional wrestler had been subject to online abuse, and her death has lead to calls for harsher punishments for cyberbullying.

Two men were each fined 9,000 yen (~$67) last year for posting online insults about Kimura before her death. Kimura's mother, former professional wrestler Kyoko Kimura, said the punishments were too lenient—most of the Japanese public agree with her.

"I want people to know that cyberbullying is a crime," said Kyoko Kimura.

Masthead credit: Kaitlyn Baker

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hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,601   +2,563
Japan is awesome. This should be commended. Free speech has lost all meaning in North America the last few years especially. It's being abused that's for sure.

I recently saw a video about Japan's lost and found. Something like 80-90% recovery for wallets. You can even submit things you'd never think anyone would bother wasting time and money returning. Their bullet trains are so precisely timed that it has been late only once I believe. Inflation at ~2% for decades, etc etc. Sounds amazing. I'd love to visit someday.
 

Bl00dyMinded

Posts: 492   +756
Japan is awesome. This should be commended. Free speech has lost all meaning in North America the last few years especially. It's being abused that's for sure.

I recently saw a video about Japan's lost and found. Something like 80-90% recovery for wallets. You can even submit things you'd never think anyone would bother wasting time and money returning. Their bullet trains are so precisely timed that it has been late only once I believe. Inflation at ~2% for decades, etc etc. Sounds amazing. I'd love to visit someday.
You my friend then should move to China. I hear they are great over there in controlling what you say and do.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 248   +206
Japan is awesome. This should be commended. Free speech has lost all meaning in North America the last few years especially. It's being abused that's for sure. [...]
Sounds amazing. I'd love to visit someday.

Japan has awesome things... and some horrible ones too. Extremely high prices, small apartments, live to work (and not work to live), work / culture very "family unfriendly" so there are very little young people versus amount of old people. In Japan the culture is very male chauvinist (women go behind men) and having robots (instead real persons or animals) as friends / company / pets is a real thing and well seen (W.t.F.?!). They even test having a robot as a bartender.

I am very "human" and "balanced life" friendly, so that tech and "live for your work" country is not my thing...
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,968   +7,008
Japan is awesome. This should be commended. Free speech has lost all meaning in North America the last few years especially. It's being abused that's for sure.

I recently saw a video about Japan's lost and found. Something like 80-90% recovery for wallets. You can even submit things you'd never think anyone would bother wasting time and money returning. Their bullet trains are so precisely timed that it has been late only once I believe. Inflation at ~2% for decades, etc etc. Sounds amazing. I'd love to visit someday.
Their traditions are steeped in honor and respect which, unfortunately, may be part of the problem as those who are the target of abuse may take that personally, IMO.

I agree, it sounds like the values there are at another level altogether, and, IMO, the world would be a better place if more countries were like that. Unfortunately, people not used to such a culture, IMO, would likely living in such a culture hard to grasp. From my experience visiting Canada, where drivers stop when pedestrians are waiting at a crosswalk, I think Canadians would find this kind of culture much easier to grasp.
You my friend then should move to China. I hear they are great over there in controlling what you say and do.
You, sir, I think just cannot grasp honor and respect. From stories I have heard about what its like in China, the Chinese are more interested in fooling you to pay the most that they can get out of you - inter-personally speaking. The control aspect results in people trying to cheat other people probably because those being control feel cheated themselves. Its an entirely different culture.

Maybe laws are not the way to ensure respect of other people, however, there is recognition of online bullying being a problem rather than the suck it up and take it attitude that many other cultures profess and then wonder why some people find that they just cannot take such. Not to mention that the article says the law will be periodically reviewed which implies that it may be changed in the future if it is found that it is not working. Yep. That's the Chinese way. :rolleyes:
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,714   +2,527
Japan is awesome. This should be commended. Free speech has lost all meaning in North America the last few years especially. It's being abused that's for sure.

I recently saw a video about Japan's lost and found. Something like 80-90% recovery for wallets. You can even submit things you'd never think anyone would bother wasting time and money returning. Their bullet trains are so precisely timed that it has been late only once I believe. Inflation at ~2% for decades, etc etc. Sounds amazing. I'd love to visit someday.

Totally difficult culture to America that's why its possible.

They are not a "me first people"

 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,601   +2,563
Japan has awesome things... and some horrible ones too. Extremely high prices, small apartments, live to work (and not work to live), work / culture very "family unfriendly" so there are very little young people versus amount of old people. In Japan the culture is very male chauvinist (women go behind men) and having robots (instead real persons or animals) as friends / company / pets is a real thing and well seen (W.t.F.?!). They even test having a robot as a bartender.

I am very "human" and "balanced life" friendly, so that tech and "live for your work" country is not my thing...
How close are they to a civil war? How many get shot at school/shopping/praying? How many countries have they invaded lately?

The US is the worst example to put up against other countries as an example of better, right now. Trump grabs women by the you know what and still got elected, and you think Japan is chauvinist?!
 

RudyBob

Posts: 708   +670
Who recalls Lennon's song "Imagine"
Imagine if there were standards of behavior.
The USA had standards but the "who are you to judge me movement won"
And the thing is everyone judges a multitude of things everyday
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 105   +136
It sucks that someone can go to jail for saying something someone else might find offensive. This law will be so abused by their law enforcement.

It is sad that someone killed themselves because they were feeling down about their life but I am sure there was a lot more than just some people saying crap about them on the internet that caused her to off herself.
 

Random Commenter

Posts: 10   +8
I do not approve of those *****s hounding that wrestler, but I dislike the ambiguous definition.

In the UK with the arrival of the new Online Safety Bill, we are toying with the concept of "legal but harmful" speech. However, the definition of harmful is subjective and could also amended at the stroke of a pen with no need for parliamentary consultation. This is open to abuse and in my view is not the way to legislate.
 

Xex360

Posts: 196   +286
Pretty difficult given that in Japanese you'll be pressed to find anything remotely offensive to say. I think this covers cyber bullying.
Their traditions are steeped in honor and respect which, unfortunately, may be part of the problem as those who are the target of abuse may take that personally, IMO.
Have you been to Japan?
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 311   +433
This whole thread reads like a censorship board. Jesus. It's not all happy anime kitties in Japan. I value a culture of strong values, I do NOT value censorship. If a person has such thin skin that they cannot take an insult or criticism, then they should not be online, in any way shape or form.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,828   +1,895
That you dearly pay with children lives.
Stuff and nonsense. The 10 leading causes of child death in the USA are:
- Motor vehicle crash
- Firearm-related injury
- Malignant neoplasm
- Suffocation
- Drowning
- Drug overdose/poisoning
- Congenital anomalies
- Heart disease
- Fire or burns
- Chronic lower respiratory disease

As for child and adolescent suicides, they're increasing primarily because of the social isolation from Covid shutdowns. And despite the media's gaslighting the issue, any child who kills themself because of an insult posted to social media has severe underlying emotional issues, issues that would have almost certainly resulted in the same end result at some point regardless.