Though it kind of seems like this should have been illegal already.

On December 12, the General Affairs Committee of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly (the capital’s equivalent of a city council) met to discuss a proposed change to the Healthy Youth Development Ordinance. Among other things, the Healthy Youth Development Ordinance governs media-related issues that affect minors, and the proposal seeks to better protect them from being coerced into providing nude pictures of themselves to people they’ve come into contact with online.

Under the current law, the authorities can only prosecute someone asking a minor for a nude selfie if the request is intimidating or threatening in nature. The inexact science of what constitutes intimidation, though, prevents the police from taking action against child predators who use less overtly forceful means in soliciting nude photos.

The proposed change would modify the existing law and make it a crime to request nude images from anyone under the age of 18 if he or she has already denied such a request. Violators will be fined up to 300,000 yen (US$2,700).

The proposal was unanimously approved in General Affairs Committee voting, and will be formally introduced to the Assembly on December 15, where it’s expected to receive similar support and be quickly ratified.

Critical-minded observers will no doubt notice that the new law would still essentially give people a one-time pass to ask minors for nude selfies, and that persisting in the request after being turned down is still not a jailable offense. Still, compared to the previous “ask kids for nude pics as many times as you like, as long as you don’t threaten them” policy, the new law seems like a step in the right direction, even if it’s a baby-sized one.

Source: NHK News Web via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso