Japan child porn cases surge to record high

Japans number of known child pornography victims surged by half last year, data showed Thursday, a new record in a country where it is legal to possess sexually explicit images of children.Despite its production and distribution being outlawed, Japan is seen as a major global source of child pornography in photo and video form, and authorities have stepped up efforts to contain the problem.The National Police Agency on Thursday said law enforcers took action in 1,342 child porn cases last year, up 43.5 percent from the previous year, to reach a new record since such data was first compiled in 2000.A total of 618 children under 18 were recorded as having fallen victim to pornographic exploitation, up 52.6 percent, police said.The widespread availability of online child pornography in Japan is further fueling the problem in a country where general crime levels are low.

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