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Japan Introduces One Year Jail Term For ‘Online Insults’

Japan has revised its Penal Code by upping the penalty of detention to up to one year from less than 30 days for posting insults online

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In an effort to tackle cyberbullying, Japan has introduced prison term of up to one year and tough penalties to curb cyberbullying. The revised law also allows for fines up to 300,000 yen (USD 2,200) for insults online.

Japan has revised its Penal Code by upping the penalty of detention to up to one year from less than 30 days for posting insults online. The country has also extended the statute of limitation for insults from one year to three years.

The amendment to the laws for cyberbullying in Japan has received a healthy attention since Hana Kimura, a 22-year-old professional wrestler and cast member of a popular Netflix reality show, committed suicide in May 2020 after receiving a lot of hateful messages on the social media.

Before Kimura’s death, two men were fined 9,000 yen each for posting insults. But many believed that the penalties were too light, which led to a sweeping push for amendment of the Penal Code.

In 2021, Justice Ministry’s Legislative Council had recommended to Japan’s Justice Minister that the penalties should be tougher.


Meanwhile, critics of the bill raised concerns around ‘freedom of expression’. Hence, the revised law will be reexamined in three years’ time.



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Cyberbullying japan New Law