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Japan bans child porn — but leaves a disturbing loophole

Japan's parliament on Wednesday finally banned the possession of child pornography, making it a crime punishable by up to a $9,800 fine and a year in prison. However, the law has a loophole permitting cartoon depictions of child pornography in anime and manga, an exception that came at the request of publishers who said a blanket ban would violate their right to free speech.

The move makes Japan the last nation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to ban the possession of child porn. And though Japan previously outlawed the making of child porn, it did not punish simple possession of it. Hence, the State Department last year labeled Japan an "international hub for the production and trafficking of child pornography."