Japanese ISPs Cut Access to Child Modeling Sites

Ariana Rodriguez
TOKYO — In response to escalating criticism, four major Japanese Internet service providers have stopped providing fee-based services that allow access to websites featuring photographs of young scantily clad Japanese girls in sexually provocative poses.

The ISPs include @nifty, OCN, Biglobe and So-net, according to a report in the Yomiuri Shimbun. The photos were located in membership corners with names such as imoto (younger sister) and sho-chugakusei gentei (elementary and middle school students only) and a few photos of each girl also were made available to nonmembers for free.

Although not naked, girls introduced as being between the ages 7-10 are shown in bikinis and various stages of dress, assuming poses sexual in nature.

According to the Yomuiri Shimbun article, the specific wording of Japan’s law banning public display of pornographic images of children has led to the misunderstanding of what constitutes as child pornography. Child pornography is defined as “the stimulation of sexual desire via the depiction of a naked or partially clothed child.”

ASACP CEO Joan Irvine acknowledged the confusion in identifying child pornography.

“Although [the photographs are] not technically CP, when sites try to lure people to become members by having pictures of young girls in sexual poses and skimpy clothes, it is immoral plus that site/company is just catering to pedophiles,” said Irvine. “These types of young girl modeling sites have been curtailed in the U.S. and recently the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law that stated if someone advertises something as if there was CP on it, even if there was no CP, it is illegal.”

The Yomuiri Shimbun reports that DVDs and photo books featuring “junior idols” began attaining popularity in 2000 and the content has since become more risqué. The ISPs introduced their services in 2003.