On-line insults made punishable by jail time in Japan

Japan passes a bill that introduces penalties for online insults. — Pixabay


Japan passes a bill that introduces penalties for online insults. — Pixabay
Japan passes a bill that introduces penalties for online insults. — Pixabay
  • Bill that introduces tough penalties for online insults passed in Japan.
  • Move comes after Hana Kimura died by suicide after receiving online hate.
  • Currently unclear to what degree insult will be considered felonious.

In an attempt to deal with cyberbullying, a bill that introduced tough penalties for online insults was passed at an upper house plenary session in Japan, South China Morning Post reported.

The move came after a 22-year-old professional wrestler and cast member on the famous Netflix show “Terrace House”, Hana Kimura, died by suicide in May 2020, after she received extreme hate on social media. 

There have been debates and discussions in the parliament about the methods of regulating freedom of expression which is guaranteed by the Constitution of Japan.

The primary opposition political party has commented against the bill saying that it could lead to a lack of “legitimate criticism of politicians and public officials.”

In Japan, insults and defamation are considered two different things but both are punishable by law. It is currently unclear to what degree an insult will be considered felonious under the law. 

While two men were fined 9,000 yen each for insulting Kimura before her death, some were of the opinion that the penalties were not tough enough, which then led to legal changes. 



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