If you insult someone online in Japan, you could get a year in prison and have to pay a lot of money in fines. Japan passed a bill on Thursday as a way to stop online abuse, insult, and harassment.
In the new Penal Code, the fine for slandering someone on the internet has gone from $75 to $2,200. A 30-day jail sentence was the only option in the past. Another change is that the amount of time you have to file an insulting claim has gone from one year to three.
After 22-year-old professional wrestler Hana Kimura. Who was on the popular Netflix reality TV show Terrace House, killed herself, and punishments got harsher. Kimura may have killed herself because she was getting hate mail on the internet all the time.
As a result of their statements, two men from Osaka and Fukui are already paying 9,000 Yen (almost $66) each. The act came into effect after complaints that it is still overly forgiving on insults.
In October 2021, the Legislative Council of the Ministry of Justice proposed heavier sanctions. This year’s National Diet can see a change on June 13th. The upper chamber ultimately passed the bill in a plenary session.
Earlier this week, during a meeting with reporters, Furukawa said that:
”Increasing the severity of the punishments is important because it shows that cyberbullying is a crime that should be taken seriously and acts as a deterrent”.
He also said that the measure would not put “an unreasonable restriction on freedom of expression.”
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